WOTUS: The Old Rule Finally Finished
This week, the Trump Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers repealed the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This landmark week marks years of battling a federal rule that would have put American agriculture in jeopardy.
“Arizona Farm Bureau fully supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to repeal the irrational and unclear 2015 Waters of the US Rule,” said Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse and southern Arizona rancher. “This change has been hard-fought, long-awaited, and will have real impacts on the businesses of Arizona’s farmers and ranchers. This repeal maintains sensible and important protections for Waters of The U.S., but no longer will our farmers and ranchers have to hire a team of outside consultants to make clear when a dry wash constitutes a “navigable waterway” in our arid environment. Arizona Farm Bureau applauds the effort to keep out waterways clean with clear rules.”
And, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall added, “Farmers and ranchers share the goal of ensuring clean water, but the 2015 Waters of the United States rule was unreasonable and unworkable. It made conservation more difficult and created huge liabilities for farmers.
“No regulation is perfect, and no rule can accommodate every concern, but the 2015 rule was especially egregious. We are relieved to put it behind us. We are now working to ensure a fair and reasonable substitute that protects our water and our ability to work and care for the land. Farm Bureau’s multi-year effort to raise awareness of overreaching provisions was powered by thousands of our members who joined with an array of allies to achieve this victory for clear rules to ensure clean water.”
Congressional Western Caucus Chair Paul Gosar (AZ-04) has a few of his own words on this landmark week regarding Wotus: "The Obama-era WOTUS Rule was an abysmal failure and represented one of the most egregious examples of federal overreach in my lifetime. President Obama’s land and water grab gave unprecedented power to bureaucrats of the D.C. Swamp at the expense of farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and the American people. The Western Caucus led the charge against this misguided regulation and is thrilled to see it put out to pasture. President Trump and Administrator Wheeler’s repeal of this job-killing regulation is welcome news and will restore decision making to states and local communities."
Ultimately, the ones cheering the loudest are farmers and ranchers in America’s farm and ranch country. This was a fight at ground level, grassroots inspired, where farmers and ranchers rallied against a rule the was destructive to American agriculture business.
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