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CCFB News» February 2022

Submit Comments Now to Oppose Damaging Federal Water Regulation

02/04/2022 @ 3:15 pm

In November 2021, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their proposed rule formally repealing the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and replacing it with an updated version of the U.S. EPA’s 1986 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation. 

 

Farm Bureau is concerned that the agencies are bringing back the significant nexus test. This is a case-by-case test that allows the agencies to regulate ditches, ephemeral features, or low spots on farmland and pastureland that “have a more than speculative or insubstantial” impact to a navigable water. The test also allows the agencies to aggregate waters that are “similar situated” so they can expand their reach and capture entire watersheds. That could make activities as simple as moving dirt, plowing, or building fences subject to regulations. 

 

Farm Bureau is also concerned that the agencies are attempting to eliminate clarity that was provided in the NWPR regarding the Prior Converted Cropland (PCC) exemption. The agencies are taking us back to the original 1993 PCC definition that created confusion across the country.

 

The back and forth over water regulations casts uncertainty over farmers across the country and threatens the progress they’ve made to responsibly manage water and natural resources. Farmers deserve consistency and a rule that is fair and doesn’t require a team of attorneys to interpret.

 

Please join us and submit your comment to the agencies NOW asking that they recognize the burden overreaching regulations place on farmers and respect the statute by not writing the term “navigable” out of the Clean Water Act regulations. To take action, text “IFB WOTUS” to 52886.

 

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