IL Farm Bureau Gears Up For Fight Over Biden WOTUS Rules

By Benjamin Cox on December 6, 2021 at 5:44pm

The Illinois Farm Bureau is telling its members to get ready for a fight with the new Waters of the United States rules coming from the Biden Administration.

Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities for Illinois Farm Bureau Mark Gebhards told RFD Illinois on Friday that they are putting out a call to action: “We have had a lot of concern ever since the Biden Administration came out and said they were going to basically do away with the Trump Administration rule, and in essence, kind of go back and rewrite a rule. We are already seeing in the development of this rule that we are going to go back to the Obama era-type rule that had us in a great deal of opposition and concern because of the impact that it will have on our farmers and farming operations in terms of how you define a navigable [body of water], how you define the nexus if you will of these waters, and how U.S. EPA and the Illinois EPA have jurisdiction over these waters and the implications of that.”

Gebhards says Farm Bureau members will be able to let their voice be heard in the upcoming comment period before its possibly implemented: “As this rule is put into the comment period, and we anticipate that will probably happen in the next couple of weeks. We fully intend to issue a call-to-action to our membership to weigh in on that comment period and to provide, again, the points of concern that we will have and why this just will not work. It’s frankly not necessary to have that kind of over-regulation. So, there’s more to come on WOTUS, but there will be a call to action, I would anticipate here probably just prior to Christmas.”

Farm Bureau members will given instructions on how file witness slips and opinions in the call to action within the next few weeks. The Illinois Farm Bureau issued their opposition to the roll back on WOTUS back in June.