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Groups express disappointment, confusion with new WOTUS water rule

January 3, 2023  ByBree Rody


The American Farm Bureau is among the farming groups that have expressed disappointment or confusion in the new Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) rule laid out in the Clean Water Act.

The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters. However, some have addressed the use of the term “navigable waters” as hard to define. Groups have said this could affect drain tiling decisions through some areas that may contain ephemeral waters, and have requested more clarity.

As part of a joint statement on Twitter from both the American Farm Bureau and its current president, Zippy Duvall, the Bureau Tweeted: “We’re extremely disappointed in the new WOTUS rule. Farmers & ranchers share the goal of protecting the nation’s waterways, but they deserve rules that don’t require a team of attorneys and consultants to identify ‘navigable waters’ on their land.” In a full statement, Duvall wrote that the new and more complicated regulations “will impose a quagmire of regulatory uncertainty on large areas of private farmland miles from the nearest navigable water.”

Other groups in opposition to or critical of the rule include the National Wheat Growers, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Waters Advisory Coalition and more.

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