As one of the final steps in repealing the Obama-era “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition, on Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent their version of a final rule to the White House for review. Their rule would rescind the Obama definition of WOTUS, a step that NPC and American agriculture have been supporting for years.
The Obama-era 2015 rule massively expanded the scope of the Clean Water Act to areas of the United States, including farms, that are unrelated to the law’s original goals, thereby subjecting growers to potential fines of thousands of dollars per day for unintentional paperwork errors.
In response, federal courts have stepped in to prevent immediate implementation of the WOTUS rule. NPC is on record as a strong opponent of the Obama-era rule, which would seriously inhibit a growers’ ability to farm. This week’s action is a positive step toward the goal of protecting farmers from unnecessary overregulation.