Earlier last week, we told you about the Environmental Protection Agency amending the Waters of the US rule after the Supreme Court struck down the previous version back in May. Ag groups around the country are now showing incredible disappointment with the EPA. You can count Farm Bureau among them.
“In our experience, when things are left vague, they are exploited, and it gives the agencies the latitude and the freedom to assert jurisdiction however they please,” says Farm Bureau Senior Director of Governmental Affairs Courtney Briggs.
The final rule ends the ‘significant nexus test’ the high court overturned but leaves in place a vague part of a 2006 court wetlands definition lacking any wetness metrics for land features like ditches, leaving this rule with not much more clarity than the last.
“There are no days, there are no months, there are no weeks, there’s no time. So, I was on a call with the EPA, and point-blank asked them are ephemerals still able to be regulated. And their answer was not ‘no.’”
Farm Bureau believes, “The only way to end this ping-ponging back and forth is for Congressional action to take place.”
Indiana Republican Mike Braun, a member of the Senate Ag Committee, agrees that Congress, not the EPA, should define Waters of the US. However, getting the votes for action like the ‘Define WOTUS Act’ could prove problematic.
Click below for Eric Pfeiffer’s news report for Michigan Ag Today.