Sep 12, 2019
Washington, D.C. Sept. 12, 2019. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in June 2017 that it would repeal the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and today has followed through on that promise. EPA along with the Department of the Army announced the repeal of the 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, under the Clean Water Act.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) views this move as a significant step towards greater regulatory certainty for soybean farmers, with ASA president Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, Kentucky, commenting, “We agree with the goal of assuring clean water, but in reality, the proposed rule was an unworkable and impractical regulation, especially for farmers and ranchers. Creeks, streams and ditches on our land were unduly subjected to a broad, one-size-fits-all regulatory definition that made no sense for individual farms and went beyond the intent of Congress. This is great news for soybean and other farmers.”
EPA is developing a new rule that protects waterways while still offering a workable solution for farmers, and that considers comments submitted by ASA and other impacted stakeholders. Until a new rule is finalized, jurisdictions will return to the regulatory framework that was in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS rule nationwide, putting an end to the state-by-state patchwork of regulations.