Rounds: Revised WOTUS Rule a Win for Landowners, Ag Community & States’ Rights

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, joined Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and other stakeholders in announcing a revised ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) rule.

 

“The revised WOTUS rule gives farmers, ranchers and landowners the certainty they need to know when the Clean Water Act applies to them and when it does not,” said Rounds. “In providing this clarity from the onset, it removes Washington bureaucrats from making ambiguous decisions on land which they aren’t familiar with, as landowners are. Additionally, the rule works with landowners to strengthen water safety – rather than saddle them with unnecessary burdens with little to no benefit to the environment and our water supply. It also respects states’ rights, recognizing that state and tribal governments have a right to regulate and manage their land and water resources themselves.”

 

“As it was previously written, the WOTUS rule would have been one of the largest federal land grabs in U.S. history. It would have required farmers, ranchers and landowners to spend countless hours filling out burdensome paperwork to get permits from the federal government just to conduct normal agricultural activities or spray for weeds along our county roads. I thank the administration for recognizing the damage the previous administration’s WOTUS rule would have on agricultural operations and job creators. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this commonsense proposal forward.”

 

A 60-day public comment period now begins for anyone to weigh in on the proposal. Those who may be affected by the WOTUS rule can offer their thoughts on EPA’s website HERE.

Additional information on the proposed rule, as well as supporting analyses, is available on EPA’s website HERE