Trump Set to Ditch Controversial Water Rule

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that could be the end of EPA’s controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The order will direct regulators to conduct a review of the WOTUS regulation.

Agriculture groups have been staunch opponents since it was announced by the Obama Administration. The WOTUS rule was finalized in 2015 and was aimed at clarifying what bodies of water were covered under the Clean Water Act. Opponents argued the rules were too vague and potentially would give the federal government too much power over farmers’ private property rights.

The American Farm Bureau Federation lead a vigorous campaign against WOTUS called “Ditch the Rule.” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall released the following statement on the news of Trump’s executive action:

“President Trump’s executive order to ditch the WOTUS rule is a welcome relief to farmers and ranchers across the country today.

“The flawed WOTUS rule has proven to be nothing more than a federal land grab, aimed at telling farmers and ranchers how to run their businesses. The EPA failed to listen to farmers’ and ranchers’ concerns when drafting the rule and instead created widespread confusion for agriculture. Under the rule, the smallest pond or ditch could be declared a federal waterway.

“Farmers and ranchers have been calling for a common-sense approach to regulatory reform, and today the Trump Administration responded to that call. EPA has too long been characterized by regulatory overreach that disregards the positive conservation efforts of farmers and threatens their very way of life. Today’s action is as much a beginning as an end, and there is much work to do to ensure that any revised rule is transparent and fair for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

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9 comments on “Trump Set to Ditch Controversial Water Rule

  1. Go President Trump. Next is the FSMA which has become a monster in itself. We can do well by cutting the EPA and FDA by about 50% and their budgets too. Then cut back the USDA and separate the welfare funds out of the USDA budget.

    1. FSMA received strong bipartisan support. I would like to understand how you believe that it has become a ‘monster’ since the rules that would affect most farmers haven’t even gone into effect. Have you seen difficulties with the rule already? Truly curious.

  2. I think it is important to ALL PEOPLE and ANIMALS in the USA THAT ALL BODIES OF WATER be monitored no matter how big or small!! The chemicals put on the fields,crops etc. are making all of US sick.We need to protect all bodies of water.DO YOU WANT fresh & safe WATER TO DRINK!!!

    1. Becky,
      That is like asking a man when he stopped beating his wife. Of course everyone wants fresh and safe water. My question to you is; give me one name of someone who doesn’t and provide some proof.

    2. We all want clean water, where is your proof that the farmers are contaminating all bodies of water and we are making everyone sick. That is a ridiculous divisive statement that reflects the typical general statements that are floated out in the public domain that lead to such poor legislation such as this law. I am happy to see a more balanced look at regulations in our future.

      1. While I agree that painting every farmer with a broad brush is ludicrous, it needs to be said that the conditions of our lakes rivers and wetlands are being degraded by agriculture. Industrial farming like any other industrial practice should have limits on the damages it does to the environment. MN is a classic example. 40% of our over 10000 lakes,rivers and streams are designated as compromised (high nitrates and phosphorous) combined with sediment that is very destructive to life in general. Compromised to the point that human contact with those waters is not recommended. The problem is not farming. It is farming without regard for the environment outside the farm. Or worse yet with no regard at all for anything but profit. I see this all across MN as I work not only as a produce farmer but also in my work in wetland assessment and restoration. We actually had 38 lakes removed from the compromised list last year, but added 536 more to the list. While I do agree the WOTUS rule is an overreach and the required testing of any and every body of water is also an overreach, I worry that we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Denying ag has an impact on our waters is foolish at best and irresponsible to the generations that have to live in the sewer we are creating. The dead zone in the Gulf is not an anomaly and ag is not exempt in it’s contribution to the problems. This is real people and we ignore it at our children’s peril. https://www.pca.state.mn.us/featured/few-waters-far-sw-minnesota-meet-swimmable-fishable-standards

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