Many in agriculture are ready to defend the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced their intent to repeal and rewrite it. This includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). During a call with farm broadcasters last week, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh said there is a lot to discuss with the Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) as we go forward.
Various farm groups are concerned with EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s announcement that the agency intends to revise the NWPR.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Executive Director of Natural Resources and Public Lands Council Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover said, “The NWPR was an immense step forward in rectifying the egregious overreach of the 2015 rule. Livestock producers, who manage both their private lands and safeguard public lands, have a deep-seated commitment to protecting and improving our waterways, which is why it is so deeply frustrating when EPA opts for government overreach instead of effective, proven public-private partnerships.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, ““The American Farm Bureau Federation is extremely disappointed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of its intention to reverse the environmentally conscious Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which finally brought clarity and certainty to clean water efforts. We call on EPA to respect the statute, recognize the burden that overreaching regulation places on farmers and ranchers, and not write the term ‘navigable’ out of the Clean Water Act. On this issue, and particularly prior converted croplands and ephemerals, we also urge Secretary Vilsack to ensure that we don’t return to the regulatory land grab that was the 2015 WOTUS Rule.”