U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) joined a broad coalition, made up of agricultural and industry groups, in a lawsuit that seeks to vacate the controversial “Clean Water Rule” issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps of Engineers earlier this year.
On June 28, 2015, EPA and the Corp issued the final rule despite the submission of detailed comments by USPOULTRY and others pointing out shortcomings that kept the rule from achieving the agencies’ stated goal of providing more clarity for landholders. Ambiguous determinations on the existence of a bed, bank and ordinary high water mark and numerous other issues threaten a poultry and egg farmer’s ability to perform everyday farming activities without fear of violating the Clean Water Act.
Issuance of the rule was justified by the EPA and the Corp in order to provide certainty, clarity and predictability to the regulated public. USPOULTRY noted in its comments to the EPA that if this justification was genuine, the agency had no choice but to withdraw the rule and start over with real and meaningful input from the agricultural community.
“EPA and the Corp promised a rule that would give poultry and egg farmers a clear understanding of waterways that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The final rule failed to provide that guidance, and it is imperative that we challenge this rule in support of our members,” remarked USPOULTRY president John Starkey.
In addition to USPOULTRY, coalition members include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, American Road and Transportation Builders, Leading Builders of America, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Mining Association, National Pork Producers Council and the Public Lands Council.