The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today that a two-step process is needed in rolling back the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation, currently suspended due to court actions.
“A fresh start and a more reasonable approach that complies with past Supreme Court rulings will be in the best interests of the environment and dairy farmers,” says Jamie Jonker, NMPF vice president for sustainability and scientific affairs, in comments to EPA. “We are committed to working with the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to find effective ways to protect America’s water supplies.”
The first step that NMPF recommends is simply rescinding the 2015 policy, initiated under the Obama Administration. In the second step, EPA will need to propose a new rule that conforms to the various Supreme Court cases.
In particular, EPA and the Army Corps need to correct the ambiguous language from the 2015 rule’s lack of clarity on key terms and definitions, such as “adjacent,” “floodplain” and “significant nexus,” says Jonker.
“The agencies’ new notice-and-comment rulemaking needs to provide dairy farmers with certainty as to what constitutes navigable waters of the United States by clearly complying with the Supreme Court decisions,” NMPF told EPA.