Thankfully, President Trump heard the concerns of America’s agriculture community and acted to rein in what he called “one of the worst examples of federal regulation.” Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered his administration to review and replace the previous definition of the “waters of the United States.” Crafted by the feedback of people on the ground, the Trump administration rolled out an encouraging new WOTUS proposal this week.
Importantly, the new proposal incorporates the input of the farmers, ranchers, and property owners who were most burdened under the previous ruling. Among the key changes: EPA’s jurisdiction will only cover wetlands that are physically and meaningfully connected to navigable waterways.
The new definition cuts most irrigation ditches out of unnecessary federal regulation. Similarly creative, collaborative efforts to maximize conservation of our water resources through groundwater recharge, or wastewater recycling will not face burdensome federal red tape. And the EPA will no longer pick and choose which individual waters they have jurisdiction over, a practice Oregonians in my district have had to put up with for far too long.