Statement by Barry Bushue, President, Oregon Farm Bureau, Regarding EPA’s Final WOTUS Rule

Salem, Oregon, March 27, 2015 — “The Waters of the U.S. rule is an unprecedented and unwarranted expansion of EPA’s power over ditches, ponds, ephemeral streams, or any feature that could conceivably contain water, even temporarily. EPA is trampling on both state and local land-use authority and the rights of private landowners, particularly in agriculture.

“For years, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have told EPA that its authority is not limitless. The process EPA used to ramrod this ruling into place is wrong. The agency did not take into account the thousands of comments from the agriculture community about how the ruling would hurt family farms and ranches across the nation. The WOTUS rule as it stands now deals more with regulating land use than protecting our nation’s valuable water resources.

“We are part of a strong national coalition that is examining these rules. If there is a path through the courts to fight this federal overreach of power, Oregon Farm Bureau will be part of that effort.”

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* Note to Editors: “Farm Bureau” is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.

The state’s largest general farm organization, Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of the state’s farmers and ranchers in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon in 1919, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties and has 7,000 member families that are professionally engaged in agriculture.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue is a third-generation farmer raising a variety of vegetables and berries at a nearly century-old farm near Boring, Oregon. He is OFB’s 15th president.