WASHINGTON — Editor’s note: The following statements were released after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army announced the final rule amending the 2023 definition of “waters of the United States.”
American Farm Bureau Federation
New WOTUS Rule Still Unfair to Farmers
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on the Biden Administration’s revised Waters of the U.S. Rule.
“EPA had a golden opportunity to write a Waters of the U.S. Rule that’s fair to farmers and stands the test of time, but instead chose to continue government overreach and revise only a small slice of the rule that was rejected by the Supreme Court.
“We’re pleased the vague and confusing ‘significant nexus’ test has been eliminated as the Supreme Court dictated. But EPA has ignored other clear concerns raised by the Justices, 26 states, and farmers across the country about the rule’s failure to respect private property rights and the Clean Water Act.
“Farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the resources they’re entrusted with. They deserve a rule that respects farmers as partners in that effort.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
NCBA Statement on Updated WOTUS Rule
Today, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart released a statement following the Environmental Protection Agency’s revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that is intended to conform with the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA:
“The entire cattle industry breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court curtailed the EPA’s overreach under the Clean Water Act. Today’s revised WOTUS definition is an important step toward bringing the EPA more in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling. NCBA looks forward to working with the agency to protect farmers and ranchers from burdensome regulations and provide them with lasting certainty on WOTUS.
“NCBA was proud to lead the fight against burdensome WOTUS rules from Congress to the courts. We will continue analyzing this latest development to ensure that cattle producers are protected.”
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
EPA’s revised WOTUS rule misses the mark for states’ rights and regulatory certainty
With today’s release of their revised ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers have disregarded the U.S. Supreme Court, local regulators and public stakeholders’ expertise and concerns. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Ted McKinney shares the frustration agriculture departments across the country feel.
“The ruling in Sackett v. EPA was a chance for EPA and the Army Corps to correct a deeply flawed, prematurely released rule and work to truly improve water quality outcomes. It is baffling that the revised rule does not accurately address all the issues and questions raised by the Supreme Court in the Sackett decision, nor does it address many of the questions stakeholder groups raised about the WOTUS rule EPA released at the end of last year,” McKinney said.
NASDA repeatedly asked for engagement with and offered input to EPA and Army Corps, yet the agencies made the decision to exclude active participation not only from regulated stakeholders but also from states who share in the regulatory responsibility.
NASDA remains ready and willing to work with the agencies on a durable, clearly defined rule and aiding farmers, ranchers and local regulators in interpreting how to implement the current rule.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.
American Soybean Association
ASA Expresses Concerns with EPA’s ‘Confusing & Harmful’ Final WOTUS Rule
The American Soybean Association released a statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of its final Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule:
“When EPA and the Army Corps announced they planned to tweak the flawed WOTUS regulations on the heels of the Sackett decision, we were concerned this could be the outcome,” said ASA President Daryl Cates, a soybean farmer in Illinois. “These revisions are unfortunately window dressings and leave in place much of the rule’s confusing and harmful foundations. It is even more unsettling that EPA and the Corps plan to finalize this rule without public comment. This revision is a missed opportunity to address very real and impactful farmer concerns.”
National Association of Wheat Growers
NAWG Statement on Final WOTUS Rule
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps announced the final definition of the Water of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) released this statement:
“While NAWG acknowledges that the EPA and Army Corps have taken steps to address the aspects of the 2023 Waters of the US regulation that the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision rendered invalid, we cannot help but express our unease with the outcome,” said NAWG CEO, Chandler Goule. “While we recognize the intent to bring more clarity to wheat growers concerning waters subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, we are concerned about the repercussions for our members’ farming operations. The intricate ‘significant nexus’ standard posed challenges for our growers, both in comprehension and alignment with the Clean Water Act. NAWG is disappointed both agencies are proceeding with these regulatory adjustments without public consultation on the proposed changes prior to finalizing the regulation.”
The Fertilizer Institute
Statement of The Fertilizer Institute on EPA Waters of the U.S. Rule
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) president and CEO Corey Rosenbusch today issued the below statement following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
“The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is disappointed in the continued lack of clarity in EPA’s newly released WOTUS rule, including the agency’s disregard both for the procedural need to invite public input for consideration and for May’s Supreme Court ruling determining which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction. It is unclear how a half-baked rule will provide any amount of durability or certainty to the regulated community. In this regard, the guidance and implementation tools that EPA says it plans to develop are critical to both the fertilizer industry and its farmer customers.
A recent survey of TFI members found that the number one concern for companies in the fertilizer industry surrounds regulatory certainty. By shortcutting the regulatory process, EPA fails to satisfy its stated intent. We want clear rules that facilitate long-term planning and the capital investments that allow us to continue providing the critical nutrients that feed the crops that feed our communities.”