The Montana Farm Bureau is urging farmers and ranchers to submit comments regarding how the Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule would negatively affect them. On June 27, 2017, EPA proposed to do what Farm Bureau has wanted for years – DITCH the RULE! Farmers and ranchers support clean water and work hard to protect our natural resources. But the WOTUS rule had more to do with land than water.
“WOTUS would have created a huge regulatory burden for farmers, ranchers and others who depend on their ability to work the land,” noted Montana Farm Bureau Executive Vice President John Youngberg. “It would increase the costs for farmers and ranchers, and produced confusion and uncertainty.
The rule has never been implemented because it was temporarily halted by both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals. EPA’s current proposal would eliminate the 2015 WOTUS rule permanently, while the agency goes back to the drawing board to develop a WOTUS definition that protects water quality without asserting federal regulatory power over puddles in farm fields.
“However, this isn’t the time to think the rule is already ditched,” noted Youngberg. “Environmental activist groups desperately want to preserve the 2015 land grab. They are gearing-up their fundraising and mass-comment campaign to stop EPA from Ditching the Rule. They are saying the withdrawal of the rule will harm water quality. That’s simply false. The only thing being eliminated is the largest federal land grab of our time.”