U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) released the following statement on the Biden administration’s new and expansive waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that was quietly issued just over a week ago.  

“Kentucky’s farmers and agricultural industry suffered when the Obama administration implemented its burdensome WOTUS rule, and now the Biden administration has chosen to follow in their footsteps by appeasing the far left’s priorities over the economic well-being of farmers across America. Their new rule essentially reverts to pre-2015 standards, which regulates every puddle and ditch in America, and further intrudes on Americans’ private property rights and the Constitution’s limits on federal power,” said Dr. Paul.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation and Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association also released the following statements on the ruling:

“Farm families have always been on the forefront of good stewardship when it comes to natural resources, and certainly taking care of their water supplies is paramount. But as the EPA proposes to return to the pre-2015 interpretation of WOTUS, we need to have some clear directions on the definition of navigable waterways that are not subject to change with every new administration,” said Mark Haney, President of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.

“Cattlemen depend on clean water for the health of our livestock and the sustainability of our operations. We know the importance of protecting and maintaining traditionally navigable waters and abutting wetlands, however, jurisdiction over prior converted cropland, stock ponds, and agricultural ditches is an unnecessary burden to livestock producers,” said the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. 

Background:

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly issued its proposed rule re-writing the definition of “waters of the United States,” commonly referred to as WOTUS. After promising to listen to the concerns of the farming community, the EPA introduced its rule before finishing consultations with the agriculture industry. The proposed rule harkens to the pre-2015 Obama standards with even less certainty over which waters are covered and is already facing opposition from agriculture groups such as the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

The regulation would also repeal the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which was applauded by the agriculture industry as a step in the right direction, and is similar to Dr. Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act which he reintroduced in July. 

You can read more about Dr. Paul’s Defense of Environment and Property Act HERE.

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