National Cattlemen’s to File Suit Against EPA over WOTUS

National Cattlemen’s to File Suit Against EPA over WOTUS

The Environmental Protection Agency is forging ahead on implementing the Waters of the US Rule, which was finalized back in May.  Colin Woodall, VP of Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Washington, DC says NCBA, and others are preparing a lawsuit against EPA to stop implementation:

“We have looked at every option we have available to us to try to stop this new WOTUS rule that EPA has made final. We have looked at not only Congressional action, but legal action. We are in the process of putting together a law suit that will be filed shortly. We will be one of among several plaintiffs that include National Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Home Builders, National Mining Association, American Petroleum Institute; to try to force this fight into the courts to show that EPA has gone beyond their jurisdiction and has violated a lot of the Procedures Act rules in trying to put this proposed rule forward and making it final. We think this is one of a few opportunities we still have.”

Woodall says the plaintiffs, thus far, cover a broad spectrum of businesses that will be affected by WOTUS:

“We have groups from across the spectrum of land users. That was intentional to show the court and EPA that this is not just and agricultural or home builders issue; its one for anyone who manages, owns, operates on a parcel of land. It will have an impact. We want to show the strength of that overall concern.”

And Woodall says they are continuing to add plaintiffs to the lawsuit.

As to where the suit will be filed, Woodall says that’s still an open question:

“That has not been determined. We are looking at all the venues available to us.”

The goal, says Woodall, is to get the lawsuit filed in time to stop the implementation of the rule:

“We want to make sure that this is never implemented, it’s going to change the face of agriculture and all land use in this country; regardless of what the Administrator says. She has said many times that it wont impact anyone that hasn’t already had to get a permit in the past. But we are seeing more and more cases where that just isn’t true.”

And keep it tied up in the courts for as long as it takes.  Woodall also says a potential part of the suit is the alleged lobbying efforts on the part of the EPA to skew the comments in favor of WOTUS:

“That has already come into play with the action on Capitol Hill, and members of Congress being concerned with the lobbying that the EPA did to get comments and letters of support for their side. Its unprecedented by a Federal Agency. It’s not supposed to be a situation where an agency goes out and actively looks for support. We have to ask ourselves who were truly interested in this rule to comment and who was doing it at the request of EPA.”

Colin Woodall, VP of Government Affairs for NCBA in Washington, DC



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.