In recent years one of the biggest issues for the policy and advocate orgs has been the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters Of The U.S. (WOTUS) rule which has recently saw a rewrite from the new administration's regulators.
"We're very excited about the new proposed rule because we had great concerns about the WOTUS rule originally since we didn't know what we were going to need to get for permits, what was going to be regulated and then there was the possibility of fines up to $37,500 per day," says seventh generation Missouri farmer Andy Clay. "It feels like we know exactly what we need permits for and what we do not."
Newly confirmed Administrator of the EPA Andrew Wheeler, sat down for an exclusive one-on-one with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths. He said he understands the issues farmers were having with the previous administration's WOTUS language.
"When I was in private practice before I joined the agency, I represented the farmer in Indiana and a couple of other ag groups that were having problems with WOTUS," says Wheeler. "Our overarching principle in drafting this new proposal for water in the U.S. was that any landowner could stand on his or her property and figure out for themselves based on the definition what is and is not a federal waterway without having to hire an outside consultant or attorney."
Wheeler says providing that certainty is vitally important.
"Farmers are the first line on environmental protection," says Wheeler. "They are the stewards of the land and we need to recognize that at EPA."