WOTUS Rule Blocked in Indiana Was ‘Neither Understandable nor Intelligible,’ Says Farm Bureau

A federal judge last week blocked the EPA’s recently revised “Waters of the U.S.” rule—or WOTUS for short—from taking effect in Indiana and 23 other states.
“What’s really significant here is the courts are saying this new rule—it should not have gone into effect—it’s not a good rule,” says Travis Cushman, Deputy General Counsel for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “This new rule requires states, landowners and countless other affected parties to undertake expensive compliance efforts. It’s neither understandable nor intelligible, and its boundaries are unlimited. The EPA’s interpretation of the 2023 rule does not provide any clarity to which the states can easily conform. It’s an absolute smackdown on this new rule and we completely agree with the court’s analysis on that.”
A district judge in Texas had already blocked the rule from taking effect in Texas and Idaho.
Farmers and landowners can be fined or threatened with jail time if the EPA or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers believe that they are in violation of the EPA’s rule, which was first established to regulate ‘navigable bodies of water’, but has since been extended to include ditches, drainages and low spots on farmlands and pastures.
Earlier this month, President Biden vetoed a resolution from Congress that would have overturned the EPA’s revised WOTUS rule.
The fate of WOTUS may ultimately lie with the U.S. Supreme Court once they hand down their decision in the Sackett v. EPA case.
“Hopefully Sackett will more clearly delineate what the limits of WOTUS are, so we won’t have to continue to go back and forth on this issue, but it’s clear from these two rulings from Texas and North Dakota that EPA has continued to fail to appropriately write WOTUS within the terms the Clean Water Act in a reasonable and a noble way.”
That decision is expected before the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, which will likely be in early July.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report and audio from Travis Cushman with the American Farm Bureau Federation, discussing a federal judge’s decision to block the EPA’s recently revised WOTUS rule from taking effect in Indiana and 23 other states.


Source: NAFB News Service.

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