THE HUTCHINSON NEWS: EPA and Army Corps of Engineers sign proposed WOTUS rule

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army signed a proposal redefining of the Waters of the United States Rule Dec. 11 to the approval of Kansas politicians and ag leaders.

The EPA was directed by an executive order from President Donald Trump to redefine the rule, which was originally implemented by the Obama Administration in 2015. Trump saw the regulations as burdensome.

The signing was the second step in a two-step process into getting a new rule in place next later this year. The rule will clarify the federal jurisdiction over U.S. waterways under the Clean Water Act — by pulling that jurisdiction back in regards to water like wetlands.

Sen. Jerry Moran praised the EPA’s action and said it will provide clarity for Kansas farmers and ranchers.

“This provides a welcome change from the overreaching Obama-era WOTUS rule by providing a sensible, clear definition that will result in better utilization of resources and cut red tape for Kansas producers,” Moran said. “I will work with the administration to make certain its implementation works for farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders.”

Ag leaders praised the proposed changes for clarifying the line between state and federal level.

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