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Agriculture applauds newly proposed clean water rule

The Trump Administration proposed a new water rule on Dec. 11 designed to replace the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The new water rule would:

  • Protect the private property rights of American cattle producers;
  • Provide safeguards for America’s waters;
  • Observe the appropriate role of the federal government in regulating waterways;
  • Restore state and local authority to protect waters;
  • Respect Congress’s intent in limiting jurisdiction to “navigable waters” in the Clean Water Act.

As a next step, the proposed rule will be posted in the Federal Register and become open for public comment. The 2015 WOTUS rule is currently in effect in 22 states. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are currently in the process of repealing the 2015 WOTUS rule.

“After years of uncertainty stemming from the 2015 WOTUS rule, the Trump Administration’s new water rule represents a fresh start for America’s cattle producers,” said Kevin Kester, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “NCBA advocated for a new water rule that is easy to understand and implement. The Administration listened. The proposed water rule provides safeguards to keep our waters clean and clear rules for landowners to follow. We look forward to engaging with the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to finalize the rule.”

State Farm Bureau presidents from across the nation attended an event at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington to witness the signing of the newly proposed Clean Water Rule.

“Farmers and ranchers work every day to protect our nation’s waterways and drinking water. For more than five years we have advocated for a new water rule that protects clean water and provides clear rules for people and communities to follow,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “This new rule will empower farmers and ranchers to comply with the law, protect our water resources and productively work their land without having to hire an army of lawyers and consultants.

“We want to protect land and water in the communities where we live and work. Clean water is our way of life. Preserving our land and protecting our water means healthy places to live, work and play. We believe this new Clean Water Rule is rooted in commonsense. It will protect our nation’s water resources and allow farmers to farm.”

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