The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the final rule on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) on May 27. The EPA says WOTUS will make clear the waters that are protected under the Clean Water Act.

The agricultural community has been fighting WOTUS since the EPA made the proposal several years ago, claiming it will give EPA and the Corps total access to all waters in the U.S., including ditches, cooling ponds, etc.

“America’s farmers and ranchers deserve a government that will review and address their concerns,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and ranking member Collin Peterson said in a statement. “Instead, the process by which this rule was established ignored them.”

There are several efforts under way to repeal WOTUS in part or in total. Unfortunately, any bill Congress passes must be signed into law by the president, who has already threatened to veto such a measure.

At the time of this writing, it is unclear when the rule will go into effect. PD


—Excerpts from Dairy Farmers of America newsletter, May 27, 2015