WOTUS and the Clean Water Act
In order to aid our members in understanding the WOTUS rule and its impacts on the ground, CFBF will be releasing California specific maps detailing the expansion of jurisdictional waters as well as associated setbacks and buffers. Additionally, CFBF will be holding additional webinars for County Farm Bureaus and their members to explain the impacts of the WOTUS rule as well as our continued congressional strategy.
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Injunction Against EPA Water Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2015 – “Last night Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court of North Dakota issued an order to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule in its tracks. He found strong evidence that the EPA was arbitrary and capricious in its rulemaking. He saw no connection between key provisions of the rule and science that was presented to support it. Based on evidence presented so far, he ordered that the rule be stopped while the litigation continues to a conclusion.
“We applaud the court’s decision. The so-called Clean Water Rule is yet another example of EPA’s reckless and unlawful behavior in the face of science, economics and the law. Whether you’re a farmer, a rancher, a homebuilder or landowner of any stripe, the evidence is clear: This rule simply has to be stopped.
“Even in the face of this court order, EPA is reportedly asserting it will enforce the new rule in the 37 states that are not part of the North Dakota lawsuit. Thus, for much of the nation, this unlawful rule will continue to create uncertainty and legal risk for commonplace land uses like farming and ranching. It’s clear that now is the time for Congress to act and pass S. 1140 to send EPA back to the drawing board. We won’t stop until this rule is finished.”
From the American Farm Bureau:
EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act would expand immensely under its proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule. Among the numerous questionable provisions, the rule would define “navigable waters” so as to regulate countless ephemeral drains, ditches and “wetlands” that only contain water when it rains. But whether they are wet or dry on any given day, farming, home building, business expansions, commercial development and countless other land uses in or near these land features will require a federal permit. Permits might take years, or might never be issued. The result amounts to nothing short of federal zoning authority.