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Tell the EPA to support clean water and clear rules

Sign the NCBA letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan

Dear Administrator Regan:

Livestock producers across the country faced years of regulatory uncertainty related to the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” We rely on clean water for the health of our livestock, families and local communities. However, the Environmental Protection Agency must provide clear standards that support U.S. farmers, ranchers and small businesses. We urge EPA to focus federal jurisdiction on traditionally navigable waters, their consistently flowing tributaries, and abutting wetlands. Attempts to expand federal jurisdiction to ephemeral and isolated water features remove focus from the waterbodies that most significantly contribute to downstream water quality. Further, long-held agricultural exemptions for prior converted cropland, stock ponds, and agricultural ditches are vital to ensure that agricultural producers are not unnecessarily burdened. Thank you for listening to America’s livestock producers.

Livestock farmers and ranchers are invested in protecting our nation’s clean water. We need clear, commonsense regulations that support agricultural producers’ good work on this issue.



Join our campaign to let policymakers in Washington, D.C., know that you support:

Staying consistent with the law on the books and Supreme Court precedents



Limiting the federal government’s reach to only navigable waters, consistently flowing tributaries, and adjacent wetlands

Protecting important exemptions for agricultural producers, such as stock ponds

BACKGROUND

The WOTUS Rule is the regulatory mechanism for enforcing the Clean Water Act, a law passed by Congress in 1972. It defines what counts as “waters of the United States.”

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers finalized the WOTUS Rule to make it a significant expansion of federal jurisdiction. The rule was a major overreach of federal government, covering in its jurisdiction isolated waterbodies and water features that only carry water following precipitation. That overreach negatively impacted many farmers and ranchers, and both agricultural groups, environmental groups, and state governments agreed that the 2015 WOTUS rule was not an appropriate long-term solution.

In 2020, EPA revised the WOTUS definition in a new rule — the Navigable Waters Protection Rule — that more appropriately limited federal jurisdiction to waterways that significantly contribute to downstream water quality. The NWPR was a major improvement on the 2015 WOTUS Rule and had broad support but now, the Biden administration is repealing it.

We need a clear, reliable rule that allows producers to operate their businesses successfully and in compliance with the law.

NCBA continues to fight against overreaching federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. We are working with the EPA and Congress to ensure that any definition of WOTUS provides necessary clarity for livestock producers and does not exceed the statutory limits of the Clean Water Act. Any definition of WOTUS should satisfy these criteria:

Ensure that the regulatory definition of WOTUS is consistent with the Clean Water Act and existing Supreme Court precedent.

Limit federal jurisdiction to traditionally navigable waters, their consistently flowing tributaries, and abutting wetlands.

Maintain important agricultural exemptions, including exemptions for stock ponds, agricultural ditches, and prior converted cropland.

Note: Only your name, city and state, and operation name will be added to the final letter. Your phone number and email will be protected by NCBA.

To sign the NCBA’s letter, go to https://p2a.co/Y10d3WX.


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