WOTUS  Update

WOTUS Update

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency released the latest revision on what waters are protected under the Environmental Protection Act.

The new proposal for the Waters of the United States provision would get rid of the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which pulled back protection for many wetlands and streams across the country and replaces it with more restrictive pre-2015 rules.

The Agriculture Secretary discussed the latest proposed rule regarding the "Waters of the U.S." provision of the Clean Water Act, and what this may mean for agriculture.

Vilsack: “ While it is not a total redraft of the previous rule, it also takes into consideration the court decision which makes it a little bit different than either the Trump rule or the Obama rule. Folks are going to have the opportunity to weigh in on this. Our challenge and our job will be to work with producers as they take a look at what they may have to do or not do based on compliance and figure out ways we can use the tools at USDA to make it easier for them to comply.”

The EPA said, “This action advances the agencies’ goal of establishing a durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries that depend on clean water.”

National Corn Growers Associaton President Chris Edgington said, “We are extremely disappointed in the new proposal. The president of the American Farm Bureau released a similar statement saying, “AFBF is disappointed EPA is returning to an overly complicated interim water rule.

The proposal is open to public comment for 60 days upon being published in the Federal Register.

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