We want to continue protecting our nation’s waterways and drinking water.
We have advocated for a new water rule that protects our nation’s waters and provides
clear rules for people and communities to follow.
Farmers, ranchers, and small business owners want to continue protecting land and
water in the communities where they live and work. Clean water is essential to our way
of life and preserving our land means healthy places to live, work, and play.
The Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act are two separate laws that focus
on different goals. The Clean Water Act was designed to regulate the quality of the
nation’s surface waters, and the Safe Drinking Water Act was designed to assure the
safety of our public drinking water supplies. Changes to the Clean Water Act regulations
do not lessen Safe Drinking Water Act protections.
Why a New Water Rule Is Needed
For over 20 years, uncertainty surrounding the scope of federal authority over “waters of
the United States,” or WOTUS, has resulted in litigation and regulatory uncertainty.
Supreme Court cases addressing these issues added additional confusion to the Clean
Water Act’s implementation.
The Obama administration took an unlawfully broad view of federal jurisdiction over
waters, causing 31 states and many agricultural, small business, and industry groups to
challenge the administration’s old WOTUS rule.
Almost immediately courts halted implementation of the 2015 WOTUS rule. Because of
these court rulings, the old WOTUS rule has never been implemented nationwide. Since
then, every court that has reviewed the rule has deemed it likely illegal.
The EPA has said publicly that they expect to release a new water rule for public
comment in the coming weeks.
We hope a new commonsense rule will clearly define what waters are subject to federal
jurisdiction and what waters are subject to state protection. Farmers, ranchers, and
small businesses need a new rule that protects waterways and can be implemented and
followed without confusion.
A new water rule should empower people and communities to continue to protect their
own water resources and provide Americans the clarity to operate their businesses
without having to hire an army of lawyers and consultants. We can do both.