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.”