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Reactions to Latest EPA Announcement on WOTUS

Dan Irrigation, Legislative, Water, Wetland, WOTUS Act

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Image courtesy of American Farm Bureau Federation

Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Army released a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The proposed rule would remove the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which was finalized in 2020 and provided long-overdue certainty and clarity for farmers affected by the scope of WOTUS jurisdiction.

Various commodity groups responded to that information.

The National Cotton Council (NCC) notes they support the 2020 NWPR, saying that reverting to a 1980’s era “waters of the U.S.” rule would be a mistake as it did not help American agriculture.

NCC Chairman Kent Fountain said the NWPR needs an opportunity to work because it provides agriculture a commonsense and understandable rule that “not only ensures environmental and human health but protects farmland and the right to conduct farming operations in a responsible and economically sustainable manner with flexibility.”

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Also in response to the EPA announcement, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington released the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed that this administration is taking us backward by removing a rule that has provided certainty for farmers who are working to feed and power America.”

“NCGA will continue to work with the agencies and advocate for a WOTUS definition that provides farmers clarity about their obligations under the Clean Water Act.”

And Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had this response to EPA’s latest WOTUS announcement, and what it may mean for agriculture.

Reactions to Latest EPA Announcement on WOTUS