Animal Ag Cheers Ditch of WOTUS

Jamie JohansenAg Group, environment, EPA, Government, Livestock, Water

The animal agriculture community are smiles this week as they revel in the news about President Trump’s executive action regarding the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider.

John Starkey, president of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), said, “USPOULTRY is very pleased that the thousands of family owned and operated poultry farms will gain relief from this unreasonable, uncertain and confusing WOTUS rule. Like many other agricultural groups, we never believed EPA’s rule fairly considered comments from the growers and producers who own and operate these farms. In fact, it caused greater confusion and significantly expanded EPA’s authority on private, predominately family owned farmlands far beyond the scope authorized by the Clean Water Act.”

National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, said, “President Donald Trump’s decision today to roll back the controversial Waters of the U.S. regulation is a welcome development for the nation’s dairy farmers, who have been concerned by the continuing lack of clarity and certainty generated by this policy. Today’s action signals that the Trump Administration recognizes we need to go back and rethink the entire process that led us to this point.

Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said, “This extremely flawed rule would force ranchers and feedlot operators to get permits or risk excessive federal penalties despite being miles away from any navigable water. It would be one of the largest federal land grabs and private-property infringements in American history, and the President should be applauded for making EPA and the Corps reconsider this debacle. Ultimately, this rule should be taken out behind the barn and put out of its misery.”

“America’s pork producers are very pleased that the president ordered EPA and the Corps of Engineers to repeal or rewrite this ill-conceived, overbroad regulation,” said National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “The WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction and control over private lands.