According to Reuters, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers released a proposal on Tuesday to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule, the latest move by the Trump administration to unwind environmental regulations put in place under former President Barack Obama. The agencies are working to rescind the rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule, and reinstate the language of the rule before it was changed in 2015.
“We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said.
In 2015, EPA and the Army Corps issued what they called the Waters of the United States rule to clarify which bodies of water should be regulated under the Clean Water Act. Read more at Reuters….
NCBA Applauds Withdrawal of WOTUS Rule
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden and Public Lands Council President Dave Eliason issued the following statements regarding the announcement Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed an official proposal to withdraw the 2015 “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule:
“This is another great step in the right direction, and the administration deserves a great deal of credit for injecting some much-needed common sense into our nation’s environmental policies,” Uden said. “It’s important to remember, though, that this rule isn’t dead yet. The rulemaking process continues, and NCBA will submit and solicit additional comments on behalf of America’s cattle producers so that they finally get the sanity and clarity they need on land use policy.”
“We applaud President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for their leadership in repealing the 2015 WOTUS rule,” said Eliason. “Ranchers in the West are already subject to an elevated level of regulatory overreach, and the WOTUS rule as written would have only made the problem worse. It is reassuring to see the steps that this administration is taking to relieve some of that regulatory burden and provide certainty for our producers.” Source: NCBA
Conaway Praises EPA Repeal of WOTUS, Calls for Continued Work to Protect Farmers and Ranchers
U.S. Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Texas-Dist. 11, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, called on other agencies to revise and re-evaluate their enforcement of this onerous provision. “Today’s EPA announcement is an important first step to getting the federal government out of America’s backyards, fields and ditches and restoring certainty and integrity to our regulatory process. But our work isn’t done. As the case of California farmer John Duarte clearly highlights, the Corps and DOJ also need to re-evaluate and revise their enforcement of the Clean Water Act and WOTUS to ensure we protect our farmers and ranchers from onerous fines and penalties that threaten their way of life. I have confidence this administration will get the policy right and allow farmers and ranchers to be the capable stewards of the land they’ve always been.”
Last month, Chairman Conaway and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia-Dist. 6, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for a review of the Department of Justice’s decision to prosecute a California court case alleging violations under the Clean Water Act – directly related to the waters of the U.S. rule.
More information on Mr. Duarte’s $2.8 million court case and Chairman Conaway’s letter is available here.