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Beef Buzz News

Biden Administration Intent on Dumping Trump Era Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Tue, 31 Aug 2021 16:57:40 CDT

Biden Administration Intent on Dumping Trump Era Navigable Waters Protection Rule Radio Oklahoma's own Ron Hays sat down with Chief Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Scott Yager again, talking about the back and forth of the Waters of the United States rule within the Clean Waters Act.

Yesterday on Beef Buzz, Yager said the efforts to rewrite the rule by the Biden Administration feel like he's living in the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. If you missed yesterday's Beef Buzz, read and listen to it here.

The biggest concern for cattlemen and women with the announcement of repealing and replacing former President Donald Trump's Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), according to Yager, is that a similar rule to the 2015 Clean Water Rule be brought forth.

"We need to make sure that we don't have a rule come out of this process like the 2015 rule, which had the potential to put people out of business and impact just about every feature in cattle country," Yager said.

The 2015 Clean Water Rule muddied the waters for farmers and ranchers when determining what waters should be protected. A 2018 letter from the American Farm Bureau Federation stated that the 2015 Clean Water Rule, "exceeded the agencies' authority under the Clean Water Act by asserting federal jurisdiction over remote, isolated wetlands and land where water only flows when it rains, improperly read the word "navigable" out of the statute, created enormous uncertainty and confusion for both regulators and the public, was so vague that it raises significant constitutional concerns, and is contrary to the policies of the Clean Water Act, including the Act's policy to 'recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and
eliminate pollution.'"

As the Biden administration moves forward with a proposal to repeal the 2019 NWPR, Yager said the proposal could come as early as this December. Once the repeal is finalized, which could be as early as spring of 2022, Yager said the nation falls back onto the 1987 regulations of the Clean Water Act.

"You might be asking, 'why,'" Yager said. "The Trump administration appealed the 2015 rule, so we can't go back to that - it's no longer there - what's before that is the 1987 regulations."

That means cattle producers have a year before things begin to change again, according to Yager. Yager estimates the new rule from the Biden Administration won't come into effect until late 2022, possibly 2023.

So far, the 2019 NWPR has held up well in court, according to Yager.

"The Trump rule was attacked by just about every environmental group in the country," Yager said. "The key takeaway is that not a single court - put an injunction in place of the Trump rule, stated, overturned it or said it was illegal in any respect."

Since Yager's conversation with Ron, that has changed. Monday, Judge Rosemary Márquez of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona threw out the Trump-era rule. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall responded to the ruling, check it out here. See Yager's official statement on the matter, here.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ron's conversation with Scott Yager on the WOTUS issue.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Listen to Ron's conversation with Scott here
right-click to download mp3


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