National Farmers Union statement on Waters of the US Final Rule

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – On May 27, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement on the release of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Final Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“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 will fall 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.”