The Trump administration's proposed changes to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) “decreases protection for our nation’s waters and does not support the objective of restoring and maintaining ‘the chemical, physical and biological integrity’ of these waters,” EPA’s Science Advisory Board said.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is calling on USDA to reform its appeals process for wetland determinations, using a recent federal appeals court decision to show farmers are being treated unfairly.
Many areas covered by the Obama administration’s “waters of the U.S.” rule would be removed from federal oversight under a proposal released today by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.
If the “waters of the United States” rule became law, it would “freeze up” the use of farmland as landowners try to determine “whether every minor drainage ditch, dry arroyo, and nearby puddle is covered by the Clean Water Act,” farm groups said in an amicus brief filed in federal court in North Dakota.
Current and future court challenges to the “waters of the U.S.” rule must be heard in federal district courts, not circuit courts of appeals, the Supreme Court said Monday in a unanimous decision that ultimately could lead to lawsuits filed all over the country.