Court halts Trump’s water rule

Farmers cast back to the uncertainty of what requires federal water jurisdiction under Arizona ruling.


Jacqui Fatka, National Hog Farmer 

Sep 02, 2021


The U.S. District Court in Arizona struck down the Trump administration’s 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, again casting uncertainty on farmers as it relates to jurisdiction of water features on their farms. The ruling issued Aug. 30 vacated the NWPR, signaling an end to the definitions put in place by the Trump administration as the Biden administration also begins to rewrite its own version of how to define federal water.


Under the Trump-era rules, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers had jurisdiction to regulate clearly defined categories of waters, with any water not regulated by the federal government being under the oversight of state and local municipalities. This rule had replaced a 2015 rule proposed by the Obama administration which many saw as a vast overreach of federal water jurisdiction.


While speaking on the sidelines of the Farm Progress Show, Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, says the pendulum swing between administrations on what water features are federally regulated prevents farmers from having the clarity and certainty they need on their farming operations.


“We’re trying to put together five or six-year plans for the farm, and not knowing who’s going to have jurisdiction over the waters on our place is just a nightmare for us to do long-term planning on our farms,” Duvall says...


Process for Biden-era rule ...