03-16-23 | News

IA Association Reports on Opposition of WOTUS Rule

Irrigation Association Calls for Clear and Workable Regulations
by Staff

The new WOTUS rule is schedule to go into effect on March 20.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved a joint resolution to overturn the Biden administration's rule on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The WOTUS rule has been challenged by lawmakers and more than 20 state attorneys general who argue that it represents "unnecessary bureaucratic overreach." The resolution would have to be approved by the full house of Representatives and the Senate before it could take effect. In addition to the committee's legislative approval, several industry associations have also shared their frustrations about the rule.

Ted McKinney, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, says the EPA's latest rule on defining "waters of the United States" is "a statement of significant federal overreach that ignores long-held states' authority to regulate intrastate water quality and with it, the Clean Water Act's statutory mandate for cooperative federalism."


The National Association of Home Builders have also been vocal in their disapproval with the White House's WOTUS rule. NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey explained, "It makes no sense for human-made ditches and isolated ponds on private property to be subject to federal jurisdiction, but that's exactly what the WOTUS rule does under its intrastate waters category. Adding uncertainty and delay to the federal permitting process needlessly raises housing costs and defers badly needed affordable housing projects."

Find more information on the NAHB's stance on WOTUS here:

However, the EPA contends that the final rule "restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act." Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, says that the rule's "clear and supportable definition of waters of the United States will allow for more efficient and effective implementation and provide the clarity long desired by farmers, industry, environmental organizations and other stakeholders."

Advocacy director for the Irrigation Association (IA), Nathan Bowman, suggests, "... it is imperative that those who work with water have a clear understanding of what constitutes federal jurisdiction and what does not, and that the scope of that jurisdiction protects our nations water resources while also being workable for irrigators."


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