Farm Bureau Applauds EPA Move to Ditch Flawed WOTUS Rule – June 27, 2017
LARAMIE, WY, JUNE 27, 2017–The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal today to rescind the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. “The proposal to rescind this flawed rule is a step in the right direction,” said Ken Hamilton, WyFB Executive Vice President. “This rule was a land grab that put property rights of Wyomingites at risk and would have done nothing to benefit water.”
“We are hopeful the EPA will keep in mind the uniqueness of each state and work with the states rather than continuing to dictate rules with the goal of controlling property rights,” Hamilton continued.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall also welcomed today’s announcement. “Farmers and ranchers across this country are cheering EPA’s proposal today to ditch its flawed Waters of the U.S. rule,” Duvall said. “We know the importance of clean water, and farmers and ranchers work hard to protect our natural resources every day.”
“But this rule was never really about clean water. It was a federal land grab designed to put a straightjacket on farming and private businesses across this nation. That’s why our federal courts blocked it from going into effect for the past two years,” President Duvall continued. “Today’s announcement shows EPA Administrator Pruitt recognizes the WOTUS rule for what it is—an illegal and dangerous mistake that needs to be corrected.”
On June 29, 2015, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized one of the most significant environmental regulations in our nation’s history. The final WOTUS rule expanded the agencies’ regulatory footprint far beyond what they historically regulated or are authorized to regulate. The rule has never been implemented because it was stayed by both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals. In issuing its nationally applicable stay of the rule on October 9, 2015, the Sixth Circuit found that the rule’s challengers had “a substantial likelihood of success” in proving the rule was illegal. According to AFBF, the rule was challenged in multiple courts by all sides (31 states and 53 non-state parties, including environmental groups, state and local governments, farmers, landowners, developers, businesses, and recreation groups).
“Farm Bureau looks forward to supporting Administrator Pruitt’s proposal,” Duvall concluded. “EPA should ditch this rule once and for all, go back to the drawing board, and write a new rule that protects water quality without trampling the rights of businesses and the states.”
The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The primary goals of the organization are to protect private property rights and help members achieve an equitable return on their investment. Visit www.wyfb.org.