Following the revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule announced by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, several agricultural associations issued statements expressing serious concern about the final definition, including the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Here’s what each organization had to say about the WOTUS Rule:
ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock released the following statement:
“ARA is extremely disappointed in the missed opportunity by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to follow the law and direction of the U.S. Supreme Court following the Sackett v. EPA decision to clearly define the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“The agencies failed to fully address all of the issues raised by the Supreme Court without adequately engaging impacted stakeholders and state agencies serving as co-regulators. Repeating mistakes will only lead to the continuation of flawed, unworkable regulations that will be litigated in the federal courts.
“ARA and other impacted stakeholders from the agricultural industry remain interested and able to work with the agencies on regulations that follow both the spirit and intent of the court.”
TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch issued the following statement:
“The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is disappointed in the continued lack of clarity in EPA’s newly released WOTUS rule, including the agency’s disregard both for the procedural need to invite public input for consideration and for May’s Supreme Court ruling determining which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction. It is unclear how a half-baked rule will provide any amount of durability or certainty to the regulated community. In this regard, the guidance and implementation tools that EPA says it plans to develop are critical to both the fertilizer industry and its farmer customers.
A recent survey of TFI members found that the number one concern for companies in the fertilizer industry surrounds regulatory certainty. By shortcutting the regulatory process, EPA fails to satisfy its stated intent. We want clear rules that facilitate long-term planning and the capital investments that allow us to continue providing the critical nutrients that feed the crops that feed our communities.”
NAWG CEO Chandler Goule released the following statement:
“While NAWG acknowledges that the EPA and Army Corps have taken steps to address the aspects of the 2023 Waters of the US regulation that the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision rendered invalid, we cannot help but express our unease with the outcome.
“While we recognize the intent to bring more clarity to wheat growers concerning waters subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, we are concerned about the repercussions for our members’ farming operations. The intricate ‘significant nexus’ standard posed challenges for our growers, both in comprehension and alignment with the Clean Water Act. NAWG is disappointed both agencies are proceeding with these regulatory adjustments without public consultation on the proposed changes prior to finalizing the regulation.”