The American Farm Bureau Federation on Thursday released documents outlining changes between the U.S. EPA's initial Waters of the U.S. rule and the revised rule, as well as a "fact or fiction" piece and a third document that Farm Bureau says makes available to the public details the EPA has refused to address in public meetings over the past year.
The documents are: Fact or Fiction? Shedding light on EPA's "facts" about the new "Waters of the U.S." rule; WOTUS final rule and proposed rule comparison; and the Final Waters of the U.S. rule: No, No, No.
A more detailed version of the latter document is available.
"Our analysis shows yet again how unwise, extreme and unlawful this rule is," American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement. "Our public affairs specialists and legal team have assembled the best analysis available anywhere, and their conclusions are sobering: Despite months of comments and innumerable complaints, the Waters of the U.S. proposal is even worse than before."
The WOTUS draft rule appeared in April 2014, brining criticism from several farm groups, including the American Farm Bureau. A final WOTUS rule was released in May.
The groups have a variety of complaints about the rule's role in regulating water, including a view that it could federalize regulation already handled at the local level.
The rule's "radical view of 'water' which, in [EPA's] view, should encompass the vast majority of land in the United States since it surrounds actual water that may or may not be protected under the Clean Water Act" is just as important, the Farm Bureau said.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule, and a similar bill has been approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which could come to a floor vote within weeks, Farm Bureau said.
Source: Farm Bureau