EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have announced the new "waters of the U.S." rule.
Press release from EPA, Corps
Press releases, news coverage
“NFU’s policy opposes any expansion of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA), but EPA has made genuine efforts in reaching out to agriculture stakeholders in the rule-making process and the final rule clearly demonstrates that the agency took the concerns of family agriculture under serious consideration. While the rule is not perfect from our perspective, the final rule is an improvement over the proposed rule.
“The final rule puts bright-line limits on jurisdiction over neighboring waters, offering farmers increased regulatory certainty and mitigating the risk of enforcement or litigation. The final rule also provides more clarity on which ditches fall under the Clean Water Act jurisdiction, removing a gray area that has caused farmers and ranchers an incredible amount of concern.
“We appreciate EPA’s work on the regional water features, but remain concerned about waters that cannot impact the quality of jurisdictional waters falling under jurisdiction, or that farmers will not have the regulatory certainty they need to address these waters appropriately. NFU hopes EPA will clarify this process through timely guidance.”
New York Times "Industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau and the United States Chamber of Commerce, are already preparing lawsuits to challenge the rule, and legal experts say the battle over control of the nation’s waters could end up before the Supreme Court, which in recent years has cast doubt on the government’s authority to regulate certain waterways."
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