The WOTUS witch is dead
The historic repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule has producers celebrating.
Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine
Sep 14, 2019
On Sept. 12, the Trump administration announced it will revoke the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which placed waterways under the thumb of federal regulators.
WOTUS was initiated during the Obama administration. The rule expanded the Clean Water Act of 1972, and its guidelines have made life extremely difficult for land owners, producers and developers.
Without question, WOTUS overstepped and infringed upon property rights, as well as negatively impacted agricultural and economic development. While I’m certain it was created with environmental stewardship in mind, when implemented, WOTUS lacked in common sense and bullied innocent landowners.
With this recent move to roll back the environmental protections placed during President Barack Obama’s time in office, regulators will go back to the drawing board to create a new WOTUS rule that works with landowners instead of treating them like criminals.
“This action officially ends an egregious power grab and sets the stage for a new rule that will provide much-needed regulatory certainty for farmers, home builders and property owners nationwide,” said Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler and R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, in a joint statement.
As the government gets to work creating new guidelines for sound conservation practices and responsible land/water management, the agricultural industry is rejoicing at this victory.
“Cattle producers are the nation’s original environmental stewards – we work hard to ensure that our natural resources remain pristine and to implement conservation practices to protect our water resources,” said Jennifer Houston, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president. “The 2015 WOTUS Rule was an illegal effort by the federal government to assert control over both land and water, significantly impacting our ability to implement vital conservation practices.”