A coalition of 33 organizations and associations, led by Missouri Farm Bureau, submitted a letter to Missouri’s Congressional delegation on Tuesday, March 29, highlighting numerous concerns with the “Revised Definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” proposed rule.
Organizations that signed the letter include:
- AGC of Missouri
- Associated Industries of Missouri
- Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
- Coalition to Protect the Missouri River
- Home Builders Association of Central Missouri
- Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City
- Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield
- Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri
- MFA Incorporated
- Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association
- Missouri Agribusiness Association
- Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association
- Missouri Association of Counties
- Missouri Cattlemen’s Association
- Missouri Chamber of Commerce
- Missouri Concrete Association
- Missouri Corn Growers Association
- Missouri Dairy
- Missouri Dump Truckers Association
- Missouri Farm Bureau
- Missouri Forest Products Association
- Missouri Land Improvement Contractors Association
- Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association
- Missouri Limestone Producers Association
- Missouri Municipal League
- Missouri National Federation of Independent Business
- Missouri Pork Association
- Missouri Soybean Association
- Missouri Trucking Association
- Neighbors of the Mississippi
- Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers Association
The proposed rule would replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which was only in place for 14 months but provided a solid regulatory and legal framework to protect water quality through the Clean Water Act (CWA). Additional shifting of policies will create difficulties for our organizations and the members we serve across multiple industries, negatively impacting everything from the building of homes and businesses, farms and ranches, and municipal projects, to construction and maintenance of bridges and thousands of miles of roads across Missouri.
“Our members must be able to answer quickly, efficiently and accurately what should be a relatively straightforward question as to what features are and are not a jurisdictional water, without the need to hire engineers, lawyers and federal agency staff,” the letter states.
WOTUS is critically important to the aforementioned organizations and their members, as there is an important distinction between what is currently in place against what is being proposed. Expansion of the definition of “navigable” water to include areas that are only wet when it rains (such as ephemeral streams, ditches and low spots) could create tens of thousands of additional costs for federal permitting for ordinary activities.
In addition, the coalition believes that the NWPR should be upheld and the proposed rule halted, especially as the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the CWA case Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency.
With over 143,000 member families across the state of Missouri, Missouri Farm Bureau is the state’s largest agriculture-focused organization. Each of Missouri’s 114 counties has a local Farm Bureau organization and at least one local Farm Bureau office.