WOTUS BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Last night, the House passed the Regulatory Protection Integrity Act (HR 1732) by a vote of 247-155. The bill would require EPA and the Corps withdraw the proposed WOTUS rule and to work with states and other stakeholders to propose a new rule.
Twenty four Democrats voted in favor of the bill. Congresswomen Kelly and Bustos were among those Democrats voting in favor to support their rural constituents.
You can see how individual members voted at the link below.
As proposed, the WOTUS rule would significantly expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and would only further muddy the waters for farmers seeking clarity as to what is and what is not subject to federal regulation.
IL Corn hopes to work with the EPA to rectify the following concerns we have with the proposed rule:
- Farmers will face tremendous uncertainty because of the way the rule defines what is a tributary and what is an adjacent water subject to the Clean Water Act.
- The proposed rule represents a significant expansion of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction relative to anything that has ever been covered in a previous rulemaking and contradicts two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
- There are vast numbers of ditches and other normally dry areas that would be subject to federal jurisdiction.
- Farmers will be required to obtain NPDES permits or face the threat of citizen action suits challenging the use of fertilizers and pesticides on or near drainage features that are made jurisdictional.