2 July 2017 - Sanity Returning to the Clean Water Act

There is no question in my mind that farmers, ranchers and land owners won a major victory in Washington last week. The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that it was withdrawing the rules and regulations imposed two years ago in what was generally known as WOTUS, The Waters of the U.S. and the Clean Water Act was welcomed across the board by the agricultural community.

Leaders from nearly all agricultural groups were quick to express their thanks for that retraction by the E.P.A., doing away with some of the strange rules that were written into the original rule, two years ago. The rule I never understood was the one that said if you had a ditch on your farm that was dry ten months, but carried snow-melt water for two months, it was a navigable stream giving the Army Corps of Engineers and the E.P.A. the right to control what a farmer did with that ditch; it made no sense at all.

Let me share with you what the President of the National Corn Growers Association, Texas farmer Wesley Spurlock, had to say -
“The goal of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters. The 2015 rule moved us further away from that goal. Repealing it is an important first step toward providing farmers the certainty and clarity we have long desired.”

He went on to say - “We salute the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers for their efforts.

Sharing similar thoughts was the President of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Richard Guebert Jr., who said - “ We are pleased to see the EPA today, formally withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule which was proposed more than two years ago and was vehemently opposed by so many groups, including the Illinois Farm Bureau. As written, the rule created confusion and regulatory liability for farmers and land owners, while providing both the E.P.A. and the Army Corps of Engineers unlimited authority to regulate at their discretion.” Mr. Guebert said it was nothing but a ‘land grab’.

Thanks to the E.P.A. for withdrawing WOTUS!

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