American and Montana Farm Bureau Federations were extremely disappointed on hearing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of its intention to reverse the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is extremely dismayed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of its intention to reverse the environmentally conscious Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which finally brought clarity and certainty to clean water efforts. Farmers and ranchers care about clean water and preserving the land, and they support the Navigable Waters Protection Rule,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.

“Interestingly, during our Montana Farm Bureau Summer Conference that just wrapped up, we had several speakers who cautioned this proposed reversal of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) was coming down the pike,” noted MFBF President Hans McPherson. “It’s extremely discouraging that after all of the work and collaboration to develop a water rule that was good for farmers yet still protected the environment, this current Administration is angling to reverse the very flawed WOTUS. The EPA is failing to recognize the very realistic concerns of farmers and ranchers.”

Duvall noted, “This is an important moment for EPA Administrator Regan and will be pivotal to his ability to earn the trust of farmers on this and other administration priorities. He must keep his word to recognize the efforts of agriculture and not return to flawed, overly complicated and excessive regulations.

“We call on EPA to respect the statute, recognize the burden that overreaching regulation places on farmers and ranchers, and not write the term ‘navigable’ out of the Clean Water Act,” said Duvall. “On this issue, and particularly prior converted croplands and ephemerals, we also urge Secretary Vilsack to ensure that we don’t return to the regulatory land grab that was the 2015 WOTUS Rule. Clean water and clarity are paramount, and that is why farmers shouldn’t need a team of lawyers and consultants to farm.”