EPA Issues Final Waters of the U.S. Rule

EPA Issues Final Waters of the U.S. Rule

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
It’s time for your Southeast Regional Ag News. On the Ag Information Network, I’m Haylie Shipp.

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued their final Waters of the U.S. Rule. It replaces the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that was put into place during the Trump Administration. Courtney Briggs, senior director of government affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation…

“This rule allows the federal government to expand their jurisdictional reach over private property. The agencies have doubled down on their use of the troubling significant nexus test, which will require landowners to hire environmental consultants, attorneys and engineers to ensure that they are in compliance.”


She says when the federal government expands its reach, the amount of permitting that farmers and ranchers are subject to gets worse…

“Since this rule relies on case-by-case determinations and ambiguously-defined terms, it is incredibly difficult for a farmer to understand if they have a jurisdictional feature on their property.”


The new rule now goes into effect 60 days after it’s published in the Federal Register…

“We will be looking to the Supreme Court for a decision in the Sackett case, which will provide some clarity on the use of the significant nexus test. And the agencies have stated that today's rule is a durable rule, but it is very likely that they will have to make changes to the rule in response to a decision from the high court next year.”

Courtney Briggs, American Farm Bureau.

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