January 31, 2018
The Alabama Farmers Federation today applauds a two-year delay of the vague 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Implementation of the WOTUS regulation is postponed to Jan. 31, 2020. The postponement gives the EPA up to two years to develop a new rule to provide greater certainty for farmers.
"Following last week's Supreme Court ruling that the Sixth Circuit Court did not have authority to issue a nationwide stay of the 2015 rule, EPA’s postponement ensures farmers will not be subject to a flawed rule issued by the previous administration,” said Mitt Walker, the Federation’s National Legislative Programs director. “We applaud agency leaders for issuing this rule and look forward to working with them to develop a new WOTUS rule that is based on sound science and is within the authority delegated by Congress."
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) also supports the WOTUS rule delay, said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
“That rule would have put a stranglehold on ordinary farming and ranching by treating dry ditches, swales and low spots on farm fields just like flowing waters,” Duvall said. “Without today’s action, countless farmers and ranchers, as well as other landowners and businesses, would risk lawsuits and huge penalties for activities as common and harmless as plowing a field. America’s farmers value clean water as much as anyone, and they work hard every day to protect it. But they deserve clear rules, too.”
Agriculture is Alabama’s largest industry and has a $70.4 billion annual economic impact on the state. The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state’s largest farm organization with over 357,000 members.