The Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. Rule, or “WOTUS,” was first introduced to the public in May of 2015, and it’s been largely unpopular since then. Ag Web Dot Com says Iowa Republican Joni Ernst and Nebraska Republican Deb Fischer have introduced a resolution that expresses a need for the Senate to vacate the rule. WOTUS expanded the authority of both the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers authority to regulate water, which is already written into the Clean Water Act. Almost 100 percent of the American agriculture industry reacted negatively to the rule, calling it a prime example of government overreach. In a statement this week, Fischer called WOTUS completely unprecedented. “This rule would hurt all Nebraska families, communities, ag producers, and businesses,” says Fischer. “This resolution signifies our intent to get to work quickly and stop WOTUS in its tracks once the new administration takes office.” Ernst calls WOTUS a power grab and wants farmers and landowners to be able to manage their lands without what she calls the “heavy hand of the EPA” determining their every move. Fischer and Ernst both were quick to acknowledge that the Clean Water Act is vital to protecting natural resources but then added that WOTUS took it a step too far.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.