The previous rule received backlash from farmers and ag groups, who said it would have given the federal government broad regulatory authority over even the smallest collections of water on farmland. The Obama-era rule was challenged in court and was never implemented in some states, including Iowa.
The issue became a political rallying cry for Republicans, and Trump pledged to overhaul the rule. This past week, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced what it called “a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of ‘waters of the United States’ that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.”
The rule now must go through a public comment period.
But in Iowa’s agricultural community, the newly written rule is receiving praise.
“Like most other farmers, I think the first ‘waters of the U.S.’ was a little overreach,” Zingula said.
Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill, who attended this past week in Washington, D.C., the unveiling of the newly written rule, said it provides relief for all farmers and said the previous rule “threatened” Iowans’ ability to farm and hindered conservation efforts.
Photo Credit: Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette