Farm Bureau supports the withdrawal of the old rule and crafting a new rule that provides clarity and common-sense guidance to landowners.

Overregulation has been claimed so often over the past decade that the charge now frequently falls upon deaf ears. But true overregulation does exist; we have seen it in real life. Perhaps the most egregious example of government overreach in recent times was the “Waters of the United States” rule that President Obama first proposed in 2011 and finalized in 2015. Known as WOTUS, this rule sought to expand the definitions of “Waters of the United States” and “navigable waters” to include far more than the previous definition and bring millions more acres under federal government regulation.

Rather than limiting the scope of its power to major waterways in keeping with landmark rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the definition to waters “adjacent to” navigable waters. This could have allowed EPA to require landowners to ask governmental permission before doing almost any ordinary activity on their own land, even if it is almost always completely dry. Thankfully, a more logical view prevailed, as legal action stayed the WOTUS rule to keep it from going into effect, and last spring President Trump announced his intention to re-write the rule and keep it within the boundaries of the law.

Farm Bureau supports the withdrawal of the old rule and crafting a new rule that provides clarity and common-sense guidance to landowners.