NMPF to EPA: Permanently Repeal and Then Rewrite WOTUS
NMPF to EPA: Permanently Repeal and Rewrite WOTUS
The 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) must be permanently repealed and then rewritten “to reflect common sense approaches to protecting the environment,” says the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).
NMPF made that assertion in a letter sent to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) August 14th. NMPF also joined other food and farm organizations in submitting an additional 22 pages of comments pointing out what the agencies did wrong three years ago when they attempted to update WOTUS.
“WOTUS must provide proper clarity on what falls under its jurisdiction so that farmers can better meet the industry’s shared commitment to clean water,” says Jim Mulhern, NMPF CEO and president.
“We believe the 2015 rule failed to provide regulatory certainty and consistency and exceeded the Agencies’ legal authority under the [Clean Water Act].” The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 gave the federal government jurisdiction over navigable waters but left the regulation of non-navigable waters to the states. However, over the years, the federal government has continually and wrongfully expanded its authority over these non-navigable waters, says NMPF.
NMPF believes EPA and ACE need to apply WOTUS rules that are consistent with recent Supreme Court rulings and long-standing farming practices. Re-codifying the regulations that existed before the 2015 rule was developed will provide both continuity and certainty for all parties involved, including farmers and the public, says NMPF.