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Farm groups praise Trump for overturning WOTUS

National Corn Growers Association among the organizations celebrating the decision

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

American farm organizations are praising an executive order signed by President Donald Trump to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Rule, commonly known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

The EPA published the rule in 2015 under President Obama. WOTUS would allow the EPA to determine which wetlands fall under federal clean water protections.

At the time, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said the rule would result in the “imposition of burdensome requirements on agricultural producers.”

With a repeal scheduled, American farmers can use their water without any potential federal pressure.

“The flawed WOTUS rule has proven to be nothing more than a federal land grab, aimed at telling farmers and ranchers how to run their businesses,” Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, said in a release. “Under the rule, the smallest pond or ditch could be declared a federal waterway.”

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is also celebrating the repeal of WOTUS, due in part to the way lawmakers wrote it.

“Farmers and ranchers care deeply about clean water, but this rule had significant flaws. It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible, and extremely difficult to implement,” Wesley Spurlock, NCGA president, said in the release.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said the repeal allows water on farmland to be treated as private property.

“America’s pork producers are very pleased that the president ordered EPA and the Corps of Engineers to repeal or rewrite this ill-conceived, overbroad regulation,” NPPC president John Weber stated in a release. “The WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction and control over private lands.”

And the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said the repeal brings clarity to a situation many farmers found confusing.

“President Donald Trump’s decision today to roll back the controversial Waters of the U.S. regulation is a welcome development for the nation’s dairy farmers, who have been concerned by the continuing lack of clarity and certainty generated by this policy,” Jim Mulhern, NMPF president, said in a release. “Today’s action signals that the Trump Administration recognizes we need to go back and rethink the entire process that led us to this point.”

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