FORT WORTH, Texas — In 2015, the Obama administration enacted its Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule. The absurdly overreaching scheme would have gone as far as regulating drainage ditches and streams that only flow after heavy rainfall. Fortunately, it was replaced with the more sensible Navigable Waters Protection Rule, or NWPR, in 2020. That rule set clear and reasonable standards for federal regulation of water features that property owners could interpret without spending tens of thousands of dollars on professional consultants.
Thursday, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers formally announced their proposal to repeal and replace NWPR.
“It is incredibly disappointing that cattle producers must once again deal with the regulatory uncertainly and potential for government overreach that comes with the announcement,” said Hughes Abell, president of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. “No one understands the importance of clean water and land stewardship like cattle producers. It is our livelihood, and we will fight to continue caring for our land and cattle.
“While we oppose the repeal of NWPR, the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association will work diligently to ensure the replacement keeps key elements of NWPR. Most notably, any new rule must maintain a traditional definition of navigable water, exclude isolated water features and groundwater, and be easy to interpret by landowners.
“I urge the Biden administration to act in the interest of the men and women who produce the food we need every single day,” Abell concluded.
TSCRA is a 144-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas, Oklahoma and the Southwest.
–Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association