American Farm Bureau discusses WOTUS resolutions

American Farm Bureau is watching to see what will happen with the joint resolution to stop the Biden Administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule from going into effect.

Courtney Briggs, senior director of government affairs with American Farm Bureau, says the U.S. House and Senate have both introduced resolutions under the Congressional Review Act.

“The House of Representatives will be voting this week on their Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval and the Senate will move next week,” she says. “So, we think there is a strong likelihood this will pass.”

But, she says, “unfortunately it is subject to a presidential veto and President Biden has already been vocal about doing that.”

She says farmers and ranchers need certainty.

“There has been considerable confusion regarding a WOTUS definition for several decades now. We’ve been seeing a ping-ponging back and forth of regulatory definitions and the people suffering the most are landowners and regulated community,” she says. “We think it’s imperative that the agencies provide a clear definition of where the scope of the Clean Water Act jurisdiction is. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has failed to do that and created a regulation regime that is confusing and is going to be very hard for the regulated community to navigate.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its ruling on Sackett vs. EPA by June. Briggs says the agencies will have to come back to the drawing board and craft a new rule that respects whatever decision is handed down by the high court.

Briggs made these comments to media during the 2023 Ohio Farm Bureau County Presidents’ Trip to Washington D.C.

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