Waters of the U.S. announcement muddied in confusion

There are many questions about how the Biden administration’s recent Waters of the U.S. announcement impacts farmers and landowners now and going forward. 

Earlier this month the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to revise the definition of WOTUS under the Clean Water Act.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association chief environmental counsel Scott Yager says the Department of Justice has also asked for a “remand without vacatur” of the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule that went into effect last year.

“It sends the Trump rule back for the agencies to consider, but it keeps the Trump rule in place until the Biden administration officially changes policy.”

He tells Brownfield the rule-making process can take a long time.

“I would say the message to the countryside is ‘don’t worry about it right now (because) the Trump rule is still in place.”

And Yager points out the Biden administration just released its latest unified regulatory agenda.

“And WOTUS is not on that agenda for the next six months. So if you play out the timing there, we’ve got a year or probably closer to two years before anything is going to happen on that front.”

And during that time, he says NCBA will make sure their voice is heard.

Brownfield spoke to Yager Thursday during an Iowa Cattlemen’s Association BeefMeets event near Osage in northern Iowa.

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