WOTUS Ruling Creates Confusion

August 28, 2015 01:28 PM
WOTUS Ruling Creates Confusion

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.

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Spell Check

Rational Farmer
Waterloo, IA
8/31/2015 10:26 AM

  This is definitely a case of an activist judge wanting to protect fracking, not just farming. The Farm Bureau and other radicals have blown this issue way out of proportion. Like it or not, we live in a world where our actions affect others. We farmers must stop acting like a privileged class. Furthermore, regulation will be a fair way to level the playing field so responsible farmers are not punished for conserving their soil and preserving water quality.

Concerned Farmer
Washington, IA
8/31/2015 11:26 AM

  WOE-TO-US is just another example of big government overreach. Forcing these regulations on land owners is not the way to encourage clean water practices. The USDA has the perfect tool for promoting clean water...divert program money toward farmers who are implementing and practicing conservation efforts. As it is now, farmers who have been practicing conservation for years don't qualify for program assistance...only those who are farming like granddad did are eligible for assistance. All WOTUS will do is create more regulations that will strain already stretched enforcement resources, and violators will continue the same old practices "until they get caught". EPA can't even tell us what practices will be violations, until they are committed, then subjected to the regulations. Another example of big government inefficiency!

Georgia Landowner
Atlanta, GA
8/31/2015 07:19 AM

  Thank you for keeping us updated on this issue. It applies to homeowners in big cities as well as farmers. Look at any trickle of water that is on your property that in any way connects eventually to a federal waterway and expect that the EPA will be knocking on your door to tell you what you can or can't do everywhere on your property.