As attorney general of Oklahoma, where the EPA’s controversial “Clean Water Rule” supposedly goes into effect today, Scott Pruitt sounds fed up—and understandably so.
On Thursday, a federal judge in North Dakota blocked the implementation of the "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule, which extends EPA’s jurisdiction to even small streams on private land, saying it posed a risk of “irreparable harm.”
That decision applies to the 13 states involved in that particular case, and many expected it to cover the other 37 states that have lawsuits pending on the very same regulation.
But the EPA on Thursday said the hotly debated rule would go into effect on Friday, Aug. 28, as planned everywhere but those 13 states.
“This is highly unusual,” Pruitt told Mike Adams on Agri-Talk Friday. “Historically when an agency at federal level has been enjoined or prevented from doing something … the agency will apply that injunction … to itself across the country.”
Listen to the full interview with Pruitt here.
The situation only exacerbates the frustration that Pruitt and others, including farmers and ranchers, feel toward the rule.
“What do you do if you are a landowner in those 37 states who seeks to use your land in ways you always have, and now you have the EPA saying it has jurisdiction over your water—over dry creek bed in some cases—andy ou have to get a permit from them with respect to doing something on your land, (whether it’s) farming or ranching or the rest?” Pruitt said. “It is a very precarious place around the country right now with respect to land use and the EPA.”
Listen to Agri-Talk on Monday, Aug. 31 for more discussion of the current Clean Water Rule situation and how it affects farming. Download the My Farm Radio app to listen to the broadcast with your mobile phone.