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Push Back on WOTUS is Next

American Farm Bureau calls the final version of the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S” rule extreme and unlawful. President Bob Stallman says the final rule will allow EPA and the Corps of Engineers to remotely discover tributaries, without even stepping foot on the farm…

“What that means for landowners, is that land that does not appear to have a bed, bank or ordinary high water mark, could be determined by someone in an office hundreds of miles away to be a federally regulated water of the US.”

​ The tributaries Stallman referred to would be automatically regulated once the rule goes into effect. Historical tributaries are also covered under the rule. AFBF’s general Council Ellen Steen stresses enforcement is coming 60 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register…

“It’s coming to the country side and when it hits life will change significantly for farmers and ranchers. We want them to contact their representatives to help us stop this.”

Congress, particularly the House, continues to search for ways to stop the rule.  North Carolina’s 7th District Representative, David Rouzer introduced a bill just a couple of weeks ago:

“Last week I introduced a bill, given the fact that the administration moved forward with issuing their final rule on WOTUS, because if they are going to ignore the will of the American people we will defund the office of the administrator of the EPA until the rule is rescinded.”

And Rouzer anticipates when a budget bill comes up for a vote later in the year, this tactic could be useful:

“I think at the end of the year we will have an appropriations measure and it will be a useful tool to have to exert some pressure over the administration to go back to the drawing board on this.”

Stallman says now is the time for Senate to step up…

“We all want clean water, but such a worthy goal is worth doing right. The Senate needs to pass S1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, to force EPA to engage in real dialogue with those who will be regulated by the rule.”

Rouzer says reining in the executive branch on these rules is the ultimate goal:

“The is a crowd in the Executive branch that is taking excessive liberty to do what they want, and I think we will see more of that during this final year and half of the administration.”

The US Senate has yet to schedule hearings on 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.