EPA Administrator Regan answers WOTUS questions

Agriculture groups are questioning the timing of the Biden administration’s updated Waters of the United States rule. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan tells Brownfield the release happened before Sackett vs. EPA because there are aspects of the rule the agency wanted to get on record for agriculture.

But we also wanted the Supreme Court to make its decision based on an updated rule, not any hypotheticals or rules that existed prior.”

Regan says he is hopeful the Supreme Court’s ruling, expected this summer, will complement the Biden administration’s rule. And Regan tells Brownfield he believes the updated definition provides certainty for farmers and ranchers.

“There have been a lot of lessons learned, but we believe this administration has gotten it right. I will say we went through a very long rulemaking process to make sure everyone was heard.”

But not everyone agrees and the updated rule is already being challenged in court. Regan says the updated rule reflects much of the agriculture community’s feedback and not all the input received was legally defensible.

“The Clean Water Act requires we provide certain definitions and parameters that really define WOTUS and what those federal and state protections require. We did our best to stay within the bounds of the law.”

Regan is participating in an agricultural roundtable discussion in Kansas today. Hear the full interview with Regan.

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