WOTUS Rule Implemented in 37 States - Center for Rural Affairs reacts to WOTUS decision

Release Date: 



Johnathan Hladik, johnathanh@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1028
Or Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org, Center for Rural Affairs, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007

Lyons, NE - Today the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule took effect in all but 13 states. Late last night a federal judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents the rule from taking effect in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“Efforts to improve water quality and conserve natural resources will fail unless farmers, landowners, and others are given clear and common sense guidelines to follow,” commented Johnathan Hladik of the Center for Rural Affairs. “The Waters of the U.S. rule helps set this standard. We look forward to stakeholders working together toward responsible, reasonable, and cost-effective implementation.”
According to Hladik, “Many farmers welcome the clarity this rule brings. For them, removing uncertainty means it will now be easier to achieve conservation and stewardship goals while improving the long-term health of their operation.”
On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources from pollution and degradation.
According to the Center for Rural Affairs, the Clean Water Rule, also known as the “Waters of the U.S.,” seeks to cut through the chaos and confusion surrounding Clean Water Act enforcement, which arose from Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006. The rule goes to great lengths to ensure that farmers and ranchers benefit from preserving water quality but are not overly burdened with the rule’s implementation.

Hladik concluded, “It is important that states and others who question EPA’s authority to add clarity to the Clean Water Act have an opportunity to be heard. We hope for a timely legal resolution that removes uncertainty and allows those impacted to begin implementing plans to move forward.”