Summary

Farmers want clear rules for their farms and clean water for their families and neighbors. The federal government has no jurisdiction over dry land and ditches, and the law reflects this. Standard farming practices should not require a federal permit.

Background

In 2013, under President Obama, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to redefine “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) much more broadly than under prior regulation. Launched in 2014, Farm Bureau’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign generated nearly 7,500 postcard comments in opposition from Missouri alone and inspired MOFB’s YouTube hit video “That’s Enough” that generated more than 130,000 views.

In 2017 President Trump issued an executive order directing EPA and the Corps to review WOTUS. With WOTUS on hold pending ongoing regulatory and legal action, the EPA and the Corps proposed a revised definition of WOTUS for public comment in February 2019.

Status

In September 2019, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced the formal repeal of the Obama Administration’s WOTUS Rule. MOFB submitted comments on the proposed rule, and MOFB members sent several hundred “Clean Water, Clear Rules” postcards and messages in support of the rule. Ultimately the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule went into effect in June 2020.

In June 2021, citing evidence of “significant environmental degradation” under the new definition of WOTUS, the EPA, and USACE under President Biden, initiated the process of rewriting the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

MOFB will continue to fight for clean water and clear rules.