Battle Over WOTUS Continues in the Courts, NCBA Urges Producers to Contact Their SenatorsWed, 16 Sep 2015 16:20:16 CDT
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to implement the Waters of the US rule in at least 37 states. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Environmental Counsel Scott Yager said the WOTUS rule became effective on August 28, 2015. For landowners, he urges them to take a close look at their land to see if there is something that might be regulated under WOTUS, because there's going to be repercussions.
"If you're managing your land that would impact that, there could be an issue and you might need to be permitted for that," Yager said. "So this is a big issue for our members obviously. So what NCBA is doing, we're engaged in a lawsuit, actually suing the EPA and Army Corps to get judicial review of this rule, which we believe is regulatory overreach."
The litigation that has gotten the most attention was a lawsuit that was filed in North Dakota, where Chief Judge Ralph Erickson granted an injunction against EPA for the 13 states that were represented in the litigation.
There are a number of coalition lawsuits that are going through their procedural motions, including a lawsuit filed by NCBA. Yager said by the end of this fall they will have a better idea which is the best court to hear this lawsuit, then they will get to the merits of the briefings.
Opponents of WOTUS have several different ways to take on EPA in an effort to "Ditch the Rule". Yager said they are taking on WOTUS with the lawsuit, where they will try to get judicial review of the rule by a court of law. NCBA continues to push for a legislative fix. He urges cattlemen go to beefusa.org to find the form letter on the website to submit a letter to senators. Yager recommends landowners edit the letter to their needs, as they need more support for Senate bill 1140. That bill would have the WOTUS rule withdrawn and potentially fixed.
"Even, if we can't pass this important standalone legislation, if we can at least get a vote on it, we can show that there is record of senators supporting the rule being withdrawn that we could later attach to other legislation, that would be must pass legislation, like an omnibus or a transportation bill," Yager said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Scott Yager on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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