Obama-era WOTUS Rule Repealed By EPA

By Benjamin Cox on September 15, 2019 at 6:14am

The Illinois Farm Bureau is happy with a recent EPA decision to roll back an Obama-era rule from 2015. Recently, the EPA decided to repeal the Waters of the United States rule put in place in 2015. According to the EPA’s repeal, the rule encroached upon state land-use and didn’t clearly define rules set forth by the Clean Water Act.

Pike-Scott Farm Bureau president Kim Curry said in a statement that Illinois farmers fully support clean water but the rule’s lack of clear definition caused too many problems. Curry said that the repeal allows farmers and lawmakers to go back to the table to get the regulations corrected with a fresh start.

Many farm bureaus from around the United States have worked continuously since 2014 to get the regulation rolled back because they felt it was too much overreach by the federal government to implement protections to water quality. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr. said in a statement that it often was confusing for farmers as to what they had to do to conserve the environment and that farmers were often unsure of what portions of their acreage fell under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

The repeal ends a long effort by several farm lobbies to end the provision and roll back to previous regulations that, according to farmers, were easier to follow. A new Clean Water rule clarifying federal water regulations is expected to be completed by this winter.