Ever Heard of WOTUS?
Here’s an acronym that might need some explaining: WOTUS. It’s back, sort of.
Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) and multiple colleagues have now introduced legislation to address perceived federal overreach while aiming to provide regulatory certainty.
Specifically, the Farmers Freedom Act of 2023 would protect the definition of prior converted cropland in the Biden administration’s most recent Waters of the U.S. Rule.
“For far too long, producers have been subject to a number of complex and burdensome WOTUS rule changes,” Rounds says. “The previous Navigable Waters Protection Rule worked to protect owners of prior converted cropland from undue regulation while providing producers with needed flexibility.”
He also says the legislation seeks to restore this definition of prior converted cropland and prevent further overreach on farmers and ranchers.
Kevin Cramer (R-ND), one of the co-sponsors, says landowners need more freedom to use their land as they see fit without excessive and burdensome environmental regulations. “Producers,” says Cramer, “are always the best land caretakers.”