The Montana Farm Bureau has expressed strong dismay regarding the South Carolina District Court’s injunction of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Applicability Date Rule. This rule makes WOTUS the law in 26 states. 

“Although Montana is not one of the states in the South Carolina lawsuit, this ruling sets a dangerous precedent for all states. The courts have yet to rule on the North Dakota case that would involve Montana,” noted Montana Farm Bureau Executive Vice President John Youngberg. “The dangerous ruling further emphasizes the importance of passing legislation that once and for all drives a stake in the 2015 rule and sends EPA back to the table to draft a workable solution.” 

Youngberg referred to a U.S. Geological Survey map that shows if WOTUS is implemented, all waters, whether a lake, stock reservoir, ephemeral stream or puddle would fall under the purvey of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said, “Due to a misguided ruling by a single federal district court, the overbroad, vague and illegal 2015 Waters of the United States Rule is now the law of the land in twenty-six states.”  AFBF has been fighting against WOTUS regulations since 2013. 

“To avoid widespread uncertainty and potential enforcement against ordinary farming activities in these already-uncertain times, we call on the administration to take immediate steps to limit the impact of this dangerous court decision. The U.S. District Court for South Carolina was wrong to invalidate the agency’s ‘applicability rule’ that had simply delayed the effective date of the 2015 WOTUS rule,” Duvall said. “The delay rule would have maintained regulatory certainty and stability while the administration completes its reconsideration of the 2015 rule and works to develop a new regulation to provide both clean water and clear rules. The court ruling creates enormous regulatory uncertainty and risk for farmers, ranchers and others in the 26 states that are not already protected from the unlawful 2015 rule by previous court decisions.” 

“We urge the administration to move as quickly as possible to a final decision to repeal the 2015 rule. Now, more than ever, we must Ditch the Rule,” Duvall concluded.