Tom Buchanan, Oklahoma Farm Bureau president and Altus farmer, issued this statement today following the ruling by a federal judge in North Dakota that blocked the implementation of the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which went to effect Aug. 28.
“As federal courts wrangle with the EPA over which states should be included in the Waters of the U.S. rules, it’s becoming more obvious the EPA is a federal agency that feels responsibility to no one.
“In late May, Congress told the EPA not to implement WOTUS. The EPA thumbed its nose at Congress and pushed ahead on WOTUS, saying it would begin enforcement on Aug. 28.
“Even when a federal judge in North Dakota said WOTUS should not be implemented, the EPA said it would continue in those states outside the judge’s jurisdiction. Now, it has basically told a federal judge he cannot stop them.
“The WOTUS rule would extend federal jurisdiction and regulate land use far beyond what Congress authorized in the Clean Water Act. It creates increased legal risk and uncertainty for farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma and nationwide.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau supports the position of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who believes the rule cannot be lawful in some states and unlawful in others.
“We also support Pruitt in pursuing all available legal opportunities to stop the implementation of the rule.
“As stewards of the land, our state’s farmers and ranchers work daily to protect the environment and care for our natural resources, just as we have done for generations.
“We are grateful for Pruitt’s continual fight to protect agriculture and rural Oklahoma.”