Beef Buzz News
Biden Administration Pushing to Expand Definition of WOTUS
Mon, 04 Apr 2022 16:40:43 CDT
Now that the Biden Administration has taken public comments on their ideas regarding a new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, Americans in agriculture must now wait to see what the next steps will look like.
Scott Yager, chief environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said in an interview with Ron Hays that the Biden Administration intends to do away with the Navigable Waters Protection Rule put in place during Trump’s presidency.
“The Biden Administration laid out a two-step process, much like the Trump administration did several years ago,” Yager said. “Today, we are in the middle of step one in that two-step process.”
Yager said the EPA has put out their proposal which sets the foundation for their definition of WOTUS. They are reverting to the pre-2015 regulations, with the addition of the Biden Administration’s interpretation previous supreme court decisions which have happened since then- mainly the 2006 Rapanos decision.
A more expansive definition of WOTUS can be expected when the Biden administration unveils its second proposed WOTUS rulemaking.
Yager said he speculates the administration will target some of the large democratic items such as climate change and environmental justice in the form of a new WOTUS definition in step two of their rule.
Ron adds that in the agriculture community, there is fear that we may be getting a significant nexus concept back, which would be extremely difficult to live with for those in the cattle industry and working in agriculture in general.
Yager said allowing the government to define WOTUS on a case-by-case scenario is problematic because it leaves us with uncertainty and does not allow us to have rules we can comply with and understand easily.
“Our hope is that they can put some clear boundaries on it and continue that in a second rule making,” Yager said.
Yager added that while this issue is too complicated to yield a perfect outcome, we can hope it becomes something people can tolerate. A place for landowners to be able to run cattle without being forced to receive permission for every little thing they do is one of our goals, he added.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Scott Yager as he talks with Ron Hays regarding Biden’s plan to redefine WOTUS.
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.
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