WASHINGTON – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule redefining waters of the United States (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Through the proposed rule, the agencies clarify the definition of jurisdictional waters designated under the CWA.
“NACD appreciates the certainty provided by this definition,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “America’s farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land. This clarified definition reduces the complexity of the rule, enabling landowners and operators to responsibly manage their resources and prioritize production of the nation’s food, fuel and fiber.”
Consistent with comments submitted in previous rulemakings to define WOTUS, NACD’s comments emphasize the need for the agencies to enhance coordination with local conservation districts when making local determinations for which waters may be jurisdictional. Conservation districts have worked for decades with landowners in their communities and can provide valuable insight during the development of maps and implementation of the proposed rule.
“Conservation districts are uniquely positioned to assist with the management and protection of the nation’s natural resources,” Palmer said. “Conservation districts’ local expertise is an invaluable strength in resource management. By enhancing coordination with local conservation districts, the agencies will ensure the jurisdiction of waters subject to the CWA is workable across the country.”