The Biden administration has made a move to redefine the waters of the United States regulated under the Clean Water Act. Neither ag leaders nor environmental activists are pleased with the development.
The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have asked a federal judge to remand the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule without vacating it.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and other ag groups wanted the administration to keep the Trump-era rule, which removed federal protection for ephemeral streams and some wetlands. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said he was disappointed in the EPA’s announcement. He said the Navigable Waters Protection Rule was “environmentally conscious” and “finally brought clarity and certainty to clean water efforts.”
“We are deeply concerned that the EPA plans to reverse the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which puts the future of responsible protections at risk. We expected extensive outreach, but today’s announcement fails to recognize the concerns of farmers and ranchers.”
Duvall went on to say: “Clean water and clarity are paramount, and that is why farmers shouldn’t need a team of lawyers and consultants to farm.”
Meanwhile, environmental groups acknowledged that the proposal was a “step in the right direction,” but said it “lacks the urgency required to restore full legal protections for the lakes and rivers that supply drinking water to millions of people.”