For the past five years, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has been telling lawmakers to “ditch the rule,” a reference to the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule under the Clean Water Act. This year, AFBF President Zippy Duvall has changed the chant to “clean water, clear rules.”
Duvall, in his annual opening address to the AFBF Convention, told Farm Bureau members from across the country that the fight over how EPA defines Waters of the U.S. is still ongoing, even though the administration of President Donald Trump has submitted a new rule which more clearly defines what waters are, and are not, regulated by the Clean Water Act. EPA released the new proposed rule that would replace the Obama-era WOTUS definition in early December. The new rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register due to the government shutdown, but once it is, the proposal will be open for public comment.
“That comment period’s not just for us that believe in this new rule,” Duvall told the AFBF audience. “It’s for everybody to comment. And let me tell you something, environmentalists hate this new rule. They like the old one… They’re going to come out in force and try to defeat this new rule and get it withdrawn.”