National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Responds to EPA’s Amended WOTUS Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says in order to conform to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Sackett v. EPA case, it and the U.S. Department of the Army are amending the 2023 definition of “waters of the United States”—or WOTUS for short.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan says while he’s “disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Sackett case, EPA and Army have an obligation to apply this decision alongside our state co-regulators, Tribes, and partners.”

While EPA’s and Army’s 2023 rule defining “waters of the United States” was not directly before the Supreme Court, the decision in the Sackett case made clear that certain aspects of the 2023 rule are invalid. The newly issued amendments are limited and change only parts of the 2023 rule that are invalid under the Sackett v. EPA decision.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart says the cattle industry “breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court curtailed the EPA’s overreach under the Clean Water Act”.

“Honestly, it all stems back to that decision that we got from the Supreme Court earlier this year, which was an absolute, I can’t overstate how big of a win that was. It was a massive win for farmers, ranchers, and really all landowners and regulated stakeholders,” she said. “This rule in an effort to implement that decision and the next necessary step, I would say, is a positive development and continues us down the path of achieving some finality and some really helpful clarity in this WOTUS space.”

She says the revised WOTUS definition is an important step toward bringing the EPA more in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I think it’s going to continue to develop. Continue to listen in. Continue to read the news as we continue to work with the agencies and figure out how this is going to impact landowners across the country,” she said.

Click below to hear Sabrina Halvorson’s radio news report for Michigan Ag Today.

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