Water rule reversal a blow to agriculture

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of its intention to reverse the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is extremely disappointed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of its intention to reverse the environmentally conscious Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which finally brought clarity and certainty to clean water efforts. Farmers and ranchers care about clean water and preserving the land, and they support the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

“Administrator Regan recently recognized the flaws in the 2015 Waters of the US Rule and pledged not to return to those overreaching regulations. We are deeply concerned that the EPA plans to reverse the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which puts the future of responsible protections at risk. We expected extensive outreach, but today’s announcement fails to recognize the concerns of farmers and ranchers.

“This is an important moment for Administrator Regan and will be pivotal to his ability to earn the trust of farmers on this and other administration priorities. He must keep his word to recognize the efforts of agriculture and not return to flawed, overly complicated and excessive regulations.

“We call on EPA to respect the statute, recognize the burden that overreaching regulation places on farmers and ranchers, and not write the term ‘navigable’ out of the Clean Water Act. On this issue, and particularly prior converted croplands and ephemerals, we also urge Secretary Vilsack to ensure that we don’t return to the regulatory land grab that was the 2015 WOTUS Rule.

“Clean water and clarity are paramount, and that is why farmers shouldn’t need a team of lawyers and consultants to farm.”

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