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Agricultural News

WOTUS Uncertainity in the Courts and for Future Generations in Agriculture

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 13:34:53 CST

WOTUS Uncertainity in the Courts and for Future Generations in Agriculture

There has been lots of focus on this week on the Waters of the United States Clean Water rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rule is in limbo because of the Cincinnati U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals putting a nationwide stay on the implementation of the rule. This week, the House also joined the Senate in passing a resolution of disapproval of WOTUS. There was also a lot of talk about WOTUS at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting this week in Orlando, Florida. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with American Farm Bureau Senior Director of Regulatory Relations Don Parrish. He is their expert when it comes to WOTUS and the Clean Water rule. He said the final WOTUS ruled totaled over 80 pages in the Federal Register.

“Unfortunately, there are things buried in there that are going to be enforced not only on farmers today, but on their kids and their grandkids in the future,” Parrish said. “It is just riddled with things that is going to catch farmers in the way that we farm land for generations to come.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also characterized WOTUS as a generational rule.

“We believe that and unfortunately it’s designed in a way just to get tighter and tighter as they implement more and more of this rule as time goes on," Parrish said.

Right now the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has a stay in place nationwide. Parrish said that may or may not remain in place for the remainder of the Obama Presidency. He said if the Court of Appeals decides to hear this case, then the stay will likely stay in place. If the court decides the case needs to be heard at the district court level, he thinks the circuit court stay will be lifted and then it becomes chaos. The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, postponing implementation of WOTUS in 13 states. Parrish said that would create a hodgepodge of states with WOTUS implemented, while others would not. At that point, Parrish said AFBF would hope the government would get involved.

“We hope Congress would intervene at that time and the President would sign something, but it’s anybody’s guess,” Parrish said. “This rule is a very political hot button.”

There are a lot of groups that support EPA and the rewriting of the Clean Water rule.   However, Parrish doesn’t think most of those people took the time to actually read the rule.

“So you know if people took the time to read the regulation, I think they would have really questioned the federal government expanding their authority,” Parrish said. “Their authority over individuals and property rights beyond anything we have ever seen before.”

Parrish said WOTUS goes beyond anything authorized by Congress. He calls this rule “breath-taking” in that area.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Parrish 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.

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with AFBF's Don Parrish
right-click to download mp3


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