Update on EPA’s WOTUS ruling

Farm Bureau was very discouraged to see the State of Oregon intervening on behalf of the EPA in the lawsuit to stop the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and Clean Water Act expansion. Farm Bureau’s national Ditch the Rule campaign is ongoing with the goal of stopping WOTUS in court and getting Congress to pass S 1140 to send EPA back to the drawing board. As it stands now, WOTUS is terrible news for agriculture. On Aug. 28, American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman had some uplifting news regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule on the definition of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. > Note: Though promising, this injunction does NOT cover Oregon, meaning the ruling is still in place here. “Last night Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court of North Dakota issued an order to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule in its tracks,” said Stallman. “He found strong evidence that the EPA was arbitrary and capricious in its rulemaking. He saw no connection between key provisions of the rule and science that was presented to support it. Based on evidence presented so far, he ordered that the rule be stopped while the litigation continues to a conclusion. “We applaud the court’s decision. The so-called Clean Water Rule is yet another example of EPA’s reckless and unlawful behavior in the face of science, economics, and the law. Whether you’re a farmer, a rancher, a homebuilder, or landowner of any stripe, the evidence is clear: This rule simply has to be stopped,” said Stallman. “Even in the face of this court order, EPA is reportedly asserting it will enforce the new rule in the 37 states that are not part of the North Dakota lawsuit. Thus, for much of the nation, this unlawful rule will continue to create uncertainty and legal risk for commonplace land uses like farming and ranching. It’s clear that now is the time for Congress to act and pass S. 1140 to send EPA back to the drawing board. We won’t stop until this rule is finished,” said Stallman. The following article highlights the impacts the WOTUS rule will likely have on agriculture and your ability to farm if it’s not stopped nationwide. Article by Mike Barnett, Texas Farm Bureau $37,500. Per incident. Per day. Per violation. Does that grab your attention? It should. That’s what you could be fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if you have an unauthorized discharge of “pollutants” from your farmland that requires a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. […]