EPA Finalizes Waters of the US Rule

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency along with the Army Corp of Engineers announced that they had finalized the contentious Waters of the US Rule.  Farm groups from across the country have expressed dismay over this finalization and Congressman Thom Tillis from North Carolina had a few thoughts about the rule:

“If the EPA has their way they will regulate hundreds of thousands of jobs out of existence. And it will be damaging to the economy and it will be particularly damaging to the southeast where are we are growing at a greater clip than elsewhere in the country.”

While EPA Administrator Gin McCarthy has said time and time again there will be no changes to agriculture due to this rule, nobody’s really buying it, and Tillis isn’t either:

“There is good reason to be skeptical about anything that the EPA says. Their whole process for receiving input, formulating regulations, talking about practical implications… its almost like they don’t care.”

Tillis says its fairly obvious that no industry that has been affected by this rule has been treated fairly:

“The whole way they are defining ‘navigable waters’ is a joke. When you sit down with the average person who may even like the EPA, and explain to them what they are talking about, the average American will know this is a bad policy and it is not respecting the industries that will be devastated by it.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has come out with the statement that EPA enlisted environmental and grass roots groups to comment on the Waters of the US rule when the comment period was open so as to skew the comments in their favor.  Tillis says that information has come to his attention as well:

“There was a piece that the NY Times wrote, and when they write about something being suspect then its something to look at.”

So, where do we go from here?  Tillis had these thoughts:

“This is an area that in the Ag Committee in particular, there is bipartisan concern about what the EPA is doing. We have had some efforts and support in both the House and Senate, and we are looking at ways to intervene.”

North Carolina congressman Thom Tillis.  Visit the SFNToday home page to see press releases and other comments from agriculture groups and organizations regarding the finalization of the Waters of the US rule.



A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.