NCBA files motion to strike down Biden administration WOTUS rule

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its litigation partners have filed a motion to vacate the Biden administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule following the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced intent to issue a revised version of its WOTUS definition before Sept. 1. 

Mary-Thomas Hart, chief counsel for NCBA tells Brownfield fully rewriting the WOTUS definition is the only path forward following the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision.  “We want to pull this rule back, get it vacated,” she says.  “Get it off the books before the end of the summer so that the EPA doesn’t have the opportunity to move forward and finalize a rule without stakeholder input.”

An injunction has been secured in 27 states to temporarily halt the implementation of the Biden administration’s WOTUS rule, meaning it isn’t in effect.  But for farmers and ranchers in the other 23 states, she says it’s a grey area and producers should proceed with caution.

“Have some conversations before you start projects,” she says.  “But when it comes to those isolated features and ephemeral features, hopefully, landowners are going to have a lot more flexibility going forward, effectively managing those features.”

While the Sackett case was not directly related to agriculture, NCBA says the plaintiffs were harmed by the EPA’s overregulation on WOTUS.  The organization filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court, siding with the Sackett family and many of the points raised in NCBA’s brief were incorporated in the final opinion.

AUDIO: Mary-Thomas Hart, NCBA

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