Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) is back in review for changes that could positively affect the agricultural community. According to the WOTUS update website:
“The proposed definition specifically clarifies that “waters of the United States” do not include features that flow only in response to precipitation; groundwater, including groundwater drained through subsurface drainage systems; certain ditches; prior converted cropland; artificially irrigated areas that would revert to upland if artificial irrigation ceases; certain artificial lakes and ponds constructed in upland; water-filled depressions created in upland incidental to mining or construction activity; storm water control features excavated or constructed in upland to convey, treat, infiltrate, or store stormwater run-off; wastewater recycling structures constructed in upland; and waste treatment systems. In addition, the agencies are proposing to clarify and define the terms “prior converted cropland” and “waste treatment system” to improve regulatory predictability and clarity.”
This proposed adjustment will remove some of the “fuzzy” restricted areas that were previously proposed that could greatly affect agricultural fertilizer and pesticide use across the U.S. and reduce our ability to properly treat the fields we and our customers farm. The public comment period ends February 28, 2019, so we will hopefully soon have a better understanding of the new rules.
You can get more information on what’s going on with WOTUS here: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule