EPA: WOTUS Enforcement Begins Friday

Thu. Aug 27, 2015 3:19 PM

By Jerry Hagstrom
DTN Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- The Obama administration plans to implement the Clean Water Rule, also known as the waters of the United States rule, on Friday as scheduled, despite calls and court filings attempting to delay, an Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman has told DTN.

"The rule is still effective as of Friday, the 28th," the spokeswoman said in an email responding to a query.

On Wednesday, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture called on EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay implementation of the final rule "until adequate outreach to state regulatory agencies and the regulated community is able to occur and all parties -- including EPA and Corps field staff -- have a clear understanding of their duties and obligations under the new rule."

In a letter to both agencies, NASDA CEO Barbara Glenn wrote, "Far from bringing clarity and certainty, this rule creates significant confusion among state regulators and the agriculture community regarding each group's obligations under the final rule. Compounding these challenges, farmers are currently harvesting their crops without sufficient resources, understanding, or certainty on whether their actions could trigger responsibilities under the Clean Water Act."

State attorneys general and farm groups have filed legal cases calling for a delay, but so far none has been issued.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled this week that only the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has the legal backing to issue an injunction on the Clean Water Rule. District courts in Georgia and North Dakota are also considering the issue.

To read NASDA's letter asking to postpone implementation of WOTUS, visit: http://www.nasda.org/…

(AG)

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