IL Corn and Illinois farmers remain as staunchly opposed to the WOTUS rule as ever and are certainly disappointed to see that it was included in the negotiated language of the omnibus package that was posted earlier this week.
EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act is expanded immensely under the final Waters of the U.S. Rule. Among the numerous questionable provisions, the rule would define “navigable waters” so as to regulate countless ephemeral drains, ditches and “wetlands” that only contain water when it rains. But whether they are wet or dry on any given day, farming, home building, business expansions, commercial development and countless other land uses in or near these land features will require a federal permit. Permits might take years, or might never be issued. The result amounts to nothing short of federal zoning authority.
This is not what Congress had in mind when it wrote the Clean Water Act.
The rule proposed such a significant increase in regulatory power, that for some states, as much as 99% of the land in the state would be under the EPA’s jurisdiction. These leaves farmers forced to comply with rules that can’t be enforced in a timely manner, crippling their ability to feed their families and the world.
IL Corn continues to support Senator Mark Kirk for his vote against regulatory overreach.
Senator Kirk’s statement said, “Writing a rule from behind a desk at the EPA in Washington that makes farmers in Illinois question their right to use their own private property is the very definition of regulatory overreach, and I have consistently opposed this rule.”