The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should refrain from moving forward with its rule that would expand the definition of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), under the Clean Water Act (CWA), to include water on farmland that’s removed from major waterways, the National Corn Growers Association told the agency today.
“NCGA and its farmer members are committed to the objectives of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality around our agricultural operations and downstream,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington said in comments filed with EPA. “We firmly believe that achieving these objectives does not require drainage and water features that are distant from relatively permanent flowing tributaries be made subject to the mandatory controls of the CWA’s regulatory measures.
Edgington told the agency that such expansive jurisdictional claims will create enormous and pervasive uncertainty and confusion in the agricultural community as to how farmers manage land they own or operate.
NCGA has long expressed concern that an overly expansive definition of WOTUS could lead to more red tape and civil or criminal penalties for farmers.