18 Organizations Square Up Over New WOTUS Rule

18 Organizations Square Up Over New WOTUS Rule

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

Well, it’s probably not much of a surprise. We knew a lot of groups were not happy when it came out, but the American Farm Bureau Federation and 17 other organizations have now announced a legal challenge to the new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule released by the EPA. AFBF Deputy General Counsel Travis Cushman says that rule once again gives the federal government sweeping authority over private lands…

“The EPA just came out with another rule which doubles down on the significant nexus test, which is this unworkable test for jurisdiction of when the federal government regulates farms and ranches.”

Now he says the new rule is vague and creates uncertainty for agriculture…

“A farmer and rancher should not have to hire a team of lawyers and consultants to figure out what they can and cannot farm on their land.”

This all comes as we are awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court in the case Sackett v. EPA…

“It highlights how insane it is that EPA is going through with this rulemaking now. That decision, which could come out at any time now, will likely delineate the scope of what the Clean Water Act is. For the EPA to try to jump the gun here and do something before the Supreme Court says what the proper limit is, makes no sense. And it creates more confusion in an area that has already been with confusion for the past 10 - 20 years.”

That’s AFBF Deputy General Counsel Travis Cushman.

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