State Farm Bureau presidents from across the nation, including Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Rodd Moesel, last week witnessed the signing of the proposed Clean Water Rule at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. The rule will replace the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule, which vastly expanded federal regulatory authority on private land.
“Farmers and ranchers work every day to protect our nation’s waterways and drinking water,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “For more than five years, we have advocated for a new water rule that protects clean water and provides clear rules for people and communities to follow.
“This new rule will empower farmers and ranchers to comply with the law, protect our water resources and productively work their land without having to hire an army of lawyers and consultants.”
The proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States,” consistent with a February 2017 executive order by President Trump. The new rule provides a straightforward definition that would result in significant cost savings, protect the nation’s navigable waters, help sustain economic growth, and reduce barriers to business development.
“We want to protect land and water in the communities where we live and work,” Duvall said. “Clean water is our way of life. Preserving our land and protecting our water means healthy places to live, work and play. We believe this new Clean Water Rule is rooted in common-sense. It will protect our nation’s water resources and allow farmers to farm.”
The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
“We appreciate the months of hard work that the administration, especially the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, invested in making sure the new Clean Water Rule was done right,” Duvall said. “Unlike the 2015 WOTUS rule, this new rule protects our resources, respects the law and provides greater clarity so the agencies and the public can identify regulated federal waterways. We will further analyze this new rule in the coming days and will suggest further refinements during the comment period.”
Read more about the new Clean Water Rule on the AFBF website.