Following the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota’s decision last Thursday to grant a temporary injunction in 13 states of the EPA’s WOTUS rule the National Milk Producers Federation has responded with a letter to the Obama Administration. They urged the EPA and the Army Corps that WOTUS should be suspended nationwide.
“The EPA implementation schedule for the Clean Water Rule now treats dairy farmers differently nationwide, and clearly falls short of the EPA’s goals of ‘greater clarity, consistency, and predictability when making jurisdictional determinations,’” NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said in the letter. “Therefore, we ask that EPA and the Corp of Engineers use their enforcement discretion and cease application of the recent WOTUS rule in all 50 states, until such time as it can be evenly applied in every state.”
NMPF submitted comments on the proposed rule to the EPA and Corps of Engineers in November 2014, outlining its concerns with the lack of clarity and certainty for dairy farmers should the rule proceed. The final rule “left many of our concerns unresolved,” NMPF wrote today, although the organization had been hoping to work with EPA to address those concerns going forward.
“The opinion last Thursday by Judge Ralph Erickson brought forth many of the same concerns we relayed in our comments last November and should be taken seriously,” NMPF wrote.
NMPF’s letter today said that the organization and its members “are committed to protecting U.S. waterways through voluntary efforts, as well as through regulatory compliance with the Clean Water Act (CWA). Clean water is central to healthy ecosystems, secure water supplies for human and animal consumption, and to the production of milk and other dairy products. We are committed to working with the EPA and COE to find effective ways to achieve these important goals.”
Lawsuits from other states as well as farm and business groups are pending against the EPA.