water rights

Executive Order Initiates Review of WOTUS Rule

Sabrina Water 61 Comments

Review of WOTUS Rule
President Trump’s executive order to review and revise a disputed Clean Water Act rule will bring “regulatory certainty,” the administration says—and agricultural groups said they were encouraged by the action.

At stake is a “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, which would expand the agencies’ authority to regulate water and land.

In comments to the American Farm Bureau Federation on the day the executive order was signed, new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the WOTUS rule would have “transformed the authority, the jurisdiction, the power of the EPA in regulating water.”

“People across the country can rest assured that we are going to get that fixed,” Pruitt said.

At the environmental consulting firm Gallaway Enterprises in Chico, Butte County Farm Bureau member Jody Gallaway described the executive order as good news.

“The way the rule was proposed, it really broadened jurisdiction in areas that historically the government didn’t have jurisdiction on,” said Gallaway, who is the firm’s president and senior regulatory biologist.

California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said Farm Bureau welcomed the executive order.

“Ultimately, the goal should be to provide farmers and ranchers—in California and elsewhere—the freedom to farm their land productively and with environmental certainty, while pursuing compliance with the Clean Water Act through incentives rather than coercion,” Wenger said.

“At the same time, we recognize the executive order as the first step in what could be a long process to undo the confusion brought by the WOTUS rule,” he said.

Gallaway said the rule made it “very difficult” for a landowner or layman to know what feature of a parcel of land could fall under federal jurisdiction.

“There was all kinds of new language that even made it difficult for me—a professional with over 20 years of experience,” Gallaway said. “I think it’s a good idea to roll it back and take this opportunity to put something together that works.”

Farm Bureau and other opponents say the Obama-era rule, first proposed in 2015, would greatly expand federal regulatory authority by increasing the number of waters that would fall under EPA or Corps jurisdiction—and expanding the lands surrounding those waters under the agencies’ jurisdiction through newly required setbacks.

At the time they proposed the rule, EPA and the Corps said it would help them determine what streams, wetlands, ponds and ditches would be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act and clarify which waterways should be protected.

According to Gallaway, an important feature of Trump’s executive order is his request that EPA and the Corps consider interpreting the term “navigable waters” in a manner consistent with the opinion of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a case known as Rapanos v. United States.

“This is key because Justice Scalia, in his decision, was saying it was never the intent of Congress to have non-navigable waters be under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act,” Gallaway said. “The fact that Trump is wanting to go back and craft a new rule using Scalia’s opinion is very encouraging.”

Previous enforcement of the act gave regulators a “broad spectrum of gray area” that allowed them to interpret their authority, Gallaway said.

“If we can eliminate the gray area, by default we can make these regulators much more accountable,” she said.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed one of the legal challenges to the WOTUS rule, commended President Trump for “taking quick and decisive action on this controversial rule and restoring the balance of power between the government and its citizens.”

PLF attorney Reed Hopper said that as a result of the executive order, lawsuits challenging the rule would likely be dismissed. But he said “it is equally likely” a PLF case questioning the proper venue for bringing such a challenge would continue in the U.S. Supreme Court.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall called the executive order “a welcome relief,” while noting that the president’s action “is as much a beginning as an end.”

“There is much work to do to ensure that any revised rule is transparent and fair for America’s farmers and ranchers,” Duvall said.

CFBF Associate Counsel Kari Fisher said the process to review and revise the rule could be lengthy.

“Just like adopting the rule, they have to do exactly the same thing to withdraw the rule,” Fisher said.

Any revisions to the rule or a withdrawal of the rule would require a formal public notice and comment period.

Additional litigation could be filed if the rule is withdrawn, Fisher said.

Christine Souza is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at csouza@cfbf.com. Permission for use is granted by the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.

Comments 61

  1. Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

  2. I precisely wanted to say thanks all over again. I’m not certain what I would’ve done in the absence of the entire ideas revealed by you on such question. Previously it was the frightful concern in my view, nevertheless taking a look at your well-written avenue you treated it forced me to leap over contentment. I will be thankful for your work and in addition wish you realize what a great job that you are accomplishing training people today by way of a web site. I know that you have never got to know any of us.

  3. I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  4. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Cheers!

  5. I have learn a few good stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you put to create this sort of magnificent informative website.

  6. Real great info can be found on weblog. “I don’t know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones.” by Albert Einstein.

  7. Great V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, website theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

  8. of course like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I will certainly come back again.

  9. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I may I wish to counsel you few fascinating things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article. I want to read even more issues about it!

  10. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  11. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  12. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

  13. Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

  14. I?¦ll immediately grasp your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognise so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  15. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like studying your articles. Stay up the great work! You understand, lots of individuals are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  16. Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  17. I’m often to running a blog and i actually respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for new information.

  18. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  19. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  20. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  21. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful blog!

  22. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking to trade strategies with others, please shoot me an e-mail
    if interested.

  23. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  24. Hello there, I discovered your blog by way of Google even as looking for a similar
    matter, your site came up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it
    in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, just become aware of your blog through Google, and located that it’s
    truly informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate for those who continue this in future.
    A lot of folks shall be benefited out of your writing.

  25. I beloved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be handing over the following. unwell without a doubt come further until now again since precisely the same nearly very incessantly inside of case you protect this hike.

  26. Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved
    browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing
    on your feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  27. I was just searching for this information for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

  28. Hello there, I found your website by way of Google even as looking for a related subject, your site came up, it seems to be great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, just become alert to your weblog thru Google, and located that it’s really informative.

    I am going to be careful for brussels. I will be grateful in the event you continue this in future.

    Lots of other people can be benefited out of your writing.


  29. F*ckin’ remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to see your post. Thanks so much and i am taking a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  30. I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading everything that is posted on your site.Keep the information coming. I liked it!

  31. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  32. What¦s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist other customers like its aided me. Good job.

  33. I savor, result in I found just what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  34. My spouse and i have been really fulfilled when Emmanuel could round up his preliminary research from your ideas he obtained out of the blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just always be freely giving facts that many some others may have been selling. So we keep in mind we have the writer to be grateful to because of that. All the illustrations you have made, the easy website navigation, the friendships you give support to engender – it’s all overwhelming, and it’s really facilitating our son in addition to us imagine that this matter is excellent, and that is especially essential. Thank you for all!

  35. I seriously love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m trying to create my own personal website and want to find out where you got this
    from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!

  36. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  37. I’m curious to find out what blog system you
    have been working with? I’m having some small security
    issues with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe.
    Do you have any recommendations?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.