NCBA and KLA recently filed official comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting the new waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule proposed by the Trump administration. If fully implemented, the new rule would replace the onerous 2015 version promulgated under the Obama administration, which continues to create uncertainty and confusion for farmers and ranchers.
The cattle organizations were joined in supporting the new rule by the state of Kansas. Gov. Laura Kelly and several of her cabinet secretaries collectively submitted comments suggesting the proposed rule is better aligned with existing Kansas law and water quality standards. The state agencies support the rule’s exclusion of groundwater, stockwatering ponds, ditches and ephemeral features from the WOTUS definition. Joining Gov. Kelly in signing the comments were the secretaries of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Kansas Water Office.
In addition, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed comments urging EPA to adopt the new WOTUS rule. He and 16 other state attorneys general suggested the proposed rule protects water quality, while respecting the intent of the Clean Water Act and the regulatory authority of states.