NCBA, Farm Bureau among groups filing brief in WOTUS challenge

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Nov 1, 2016 - The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, along with other industry and municipal stakeholders, filed their opening brief Tuesday in a lawsuit asking that the controversial “waters of the U.S. rule” be invalidated.

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In a joint release, NCBA and the PLC said the brief details how the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disregarded the statutory and constitutional limits of federal authority, lobbied on their own rule-making, and failed to craft a rule that meets the rigors of the law.

“Cattlemen and women have long asked for clarity in the Clean Water Act, yet this rule adds subjectivity,” NCBA President Tracy Brunner said in the release. “By violating fundamental tenets of administrative law and expanding jurisdiction well beyond the text and structure of the Clean Water Act, it is very clear the WOTUS rulemaking was flawed from start.”

Other groups signing the brief, which was filed with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a long list of farm and commodity groups.

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PLC President Dave Eliason said WOTUS is just one example of the onslaught of regulations that rural America is facing.

“Regulatory overreach is becoming the norm for farmers, ranchers and small businesses across the country, hampering economic growth and threatening the stability of many rural communities,” said Eliason. “Unfortunately, because Congress has repeatedly failed to act on this issue, we are fighting the legal battle to keep this rule from being implemented.”

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