AFBF unhappy with WOTUS final rule

The most vocal opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule is clear about its displeasure with that agency’s final draft.  The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) says the final Waters of the U.S. rule from the EPA is no better than the agency’s proposed rule.

In fact, AFBF President Bob Stallman says the final rule is worse than the original proposal.  “Same ditch, different day,” said Stallman in a conference call to reporters on Thursday.  The EPA’s final WOTUS rule has an even broader and vaguer definition of tributary, according to Stallman.

“Now, what that means for landowners, like myself, is land that does not appear to the naked eye to have a bed, bank and ordinary high water mark, even to experts that will be standing on the land, could be determined by someone in an office hundreds or thousands of miles away to be a federally regulated water of the U.S.,” said Stallman.

The AFBF’s strategy to avoid the effects of the rule is a legislative approach, said Stallman.

“We’re really focusing on Congress now to figure out a path there to stop implementation of this rule,” he said.  “Either stop it entirely and go back to the drawing board, or at least pull funding for the implementation of it.  That’s our fastest short-term solution.”

Stallman says the Farm Bureau is pushing Senate passage of S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which he says will force dialogue between the EPA and those being regulated.

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