National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis statement regarding federal court ruling in North Dakota that will block EPA and the Army Corps’ “Waters of the United States” rule.
“America’s cattlemen and women applaud the decision of the federal judge in North Dakota to block EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule, which was set to go in effect tomorrow, August 28. EPA’s rule is nothing more than an attempt to put more land and water under federal jurisdiction, blatantly disregarding private property rights. Over the last year and a half, the agency continually ignored the concerns of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, farmers, ranchers and landowners across the country, to the point of calling the concerns of cattle producers ludicrous. In fact, only six months after receiving over one-million comments, the agency pushed forward to finalize the rule, a clear indication there was no intention of considering public comment, or stakeholder input. While the EPA claims it clarifies the Clean Water Act, even the Army Corps, which shares jurisdiction over the rule, has serious concerns for the scientific basis of the rule-making. In a statement released shortly after the decision was made, an EPA spokesperson said the ruling only holds for 13 states and that they plan to implement the rule in all others on Friday. If the EPA actually wants to protect navigable waters as it claims, they will put this subjective and ambiguous rule to rest and start over with stakeholders at the table this time around.”