WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to hear Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which challenges the EPA’s overreach of its Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) president Zippy Duvall voiced his support of the announcement on Tuesday.
“AFBF is pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the important issue of what constitutes ‘Waters of the U.S.’ under the Clean Water Act,” Duvall said in a statement. “Farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the resources they’re entrusted with, but they shouldn’t need a team of lawyers to farm their land. We hope this case will bring more clarity to water regulations.
“In light of today’s decision, we call on EPA to push pause on its plan to write a new WOTUS rule until it has more guidance on which waters fall under federal jurisdiction. For the past 10 years, Farm Bureau has led the charge on elevating the issue of government overreach in water regulations. The goal is simple, clean water and clear rules.”
The rule proposed back in November by the EPA and Department of the Army would repeal the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and return “waters of the United States” to its pre-2015 definition, which would reinstate the complicated and time-consuming nexus test.
The test determines whether the water in question, either alone or in combination with other similarly situated waters in the region significantly affects the chemical, physical or biological integrity of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters or the territorial seas.
Public hearings on the proposed rule wrapped up last week and a public comment period is now open and will close on Feb. 7. Those interested in submitting comments can do so through the EPA’s website.
Read more on the EPA’s revision of the definition of WOTUS.