NCBA Announces Lawsuit Against Biden Administration WOTUS Rule

Jan 23, 2023

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Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the Biden administration’s final “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.

“The Biden administration’s WOTUS definition is an attack on farmers and ranchers and NCBA will be fighting back in court,” said NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “The rule removes longstanding, bipartisan exclusions for small and isolated water features on farms and ranches and adds to the regulatory burden cattle producers are facing under this administration. We look forward to challenging this rule in court and ensuring that cattle producers are treated fairly under the law.”

NCBA previously filed technical comments on this rule, highlighting the importance of maintaining agricultural exclusions for small, isolated, and temporary water features, like ephemeral streams that only flow during limited periods of rainfall but remain dry the majority of the year. Regulating these features at the federal level under the Clean Water Act disrupts normal agricultural operations and interferes with cattle producers’ abilities to make improvements to their land.

“Farmers are stewards of the land and understand the importance of clean water. Unfortunately, this rule lacks common sense and makes our lives more complicated,” said NCBA Policy Vice Chair Gene Copenhaver, a Virginia cattle producer. “My cattle operation in southwest Virginia has a creek that only carries water after large storms. Under this WOTUS rule, we could be subject to complex federal regulation. I’m proud of NCBA’s work fighting back against this rule and I hope the uncertainty created by WOTUS will soon be a thing of the past.”

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