Repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is a victory for clean water and clear rules, according to Texas Farm Bureau.
A federal court this week said the rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act because of its “vast expansion of jurisdiction over waters and land traditionally within the states’ regulatory authority.”
“As farmers and ranchers, we share the goal of protecting the nation’s water, but the 2015 Waters of the United States rule was unreasonable and unworkable,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “It made conservation more difficult and created huge liabilities for farmers.”
WOTUS, which is part of the Clean Water Act, greatly expanded EPA’s regulatory authority by allowing them to control areas that only sometimes held water. It gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the ability to exert fines and essentially control how landowners, farmers and ranchers work their land.
The administration’s repeal announcement follows a multi-year effort by Texas Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau, other state Farm Bureaus and an array of allies to raise awareness of overreaching provisions of the rule.
“No regulation is perfect, and no rule can accommodate every concern, but the 2015 rule was especially egregious,” Boening said. “We are relieved to put it behind us. We are now working to ensure a fair and reasonable substitute that protects our water and our ability to work and care for the land.”