WOTUS Listening Session Comes to North Dakota

In Bismarck Monday afternoon, EPA Assistant Administrator of Water Radhika Fox and Army Corps of Engineers Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jaime Pinkham took input on the Waters of the United States rule. WOTUS is being redefined. American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal calls it “regulatory whiplash and it’s very disconcerting.” It’s not a new issue for agriculture. American Soybean Association Director of Government Affairs Ariel Wiegard told the EPA soybean farmers are frustrated with the cycle of regulation and litigation. A durable and certain definition is important for WOTUS. “Farmers shouldn’t have to ask the EPA or Army Corps of Engineers every time they want to plow or move dirt on their farms.” Last Thursday, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers reinstates the WOTUS definition from before 2015 and replaces the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule. One in the Federal Register, there’s a 60-day comment period. The EPA will consider those comments and then, propose a final rule. EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox said the EPA is trying to find common ground. In 2022, the EPA plans to host 10 regional roundtable/listening sessions to get more feedback on WOTUS.