LARAMIE, WY, JUNE 27, 2017-The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) applauds the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal today to rescind the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. "The livelihoods of American farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs were at stake".
The Clean Water Rule was created after the EPA held more than 400 meetings with stakeholder groups across the country and published a combination of more than 1,200 studies in peer-reviewed scientific publications.
When the rule was issued, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers resolved decades of legal debate among politicians, environmentalists and public health advocates, saying that that smaller waterways across the nations-tens of millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of streams-actually qualify for legal protection under the Clean Water Act, the primary federal law that protects communities and ecosystems from water pollution.
"We salute the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers for their efforts". When it is completed, the agencies said, they will undergo a broader review of which waters should fall under federal jurisdiction.
The Obama administration said that the drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans rely on protection by the rule, which it had dubbed the Clean Water Rule.
"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses", said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
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This proposed rule follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the "Waters of the United States" Rule". "It gives the federal government control of farm land in North Carolina. That's why our federal courts blocked it from going into effect for the past two years", President Duvall continued. Trump also has proposed deep cuts in the EPA budget. "We can protect Montana's pristine water without harming our agriculture economy and violating Montanans' private property rights", Daines continued. Clean water is too important for that.
"It is appalling, though not surprising, that the Trump administration is rolling back these critical protections in order to help out corporate interests", said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. "Today's announcement shows EPA Administrator Pruitt recognizes the WOTUS rule for what it is-an illegal and unsafe mistake that needs to be corrected".
"This proposal strikes directly at public health", said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We look forward to EPA's final action withdrawing the WOTUS Rule and providing relief for our States and their citizens".
WOTUS was unpopular with ag groups nationwide, but North Dakota ag producers were particularly critical of it. Sloughs, potholes and other small, often temporary bodies of water are common in the state, and North Dakota farmers anxious about the impact of WOTUS.
A preliminary version of the rule was released by the agencies Tuesday ahead of the proposal's expected publication in the Federal Register.