While the waters of the U.S. rule is out, the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule is now in, going into effect this week. It can go into effect after a judge in California denied a request to block the rule. Don Parrish, American Farm Bureau Federation Regulatory Affairs Senior Director, says the new rule is good for agriculture.
“This is the first time ever where we have struggled with what is required in the Clean Water Act,” he said. “Everything we have litigated thus far is about an overreach. This is going to be interesting make up. But the good news, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule is going into effect in every state and every territory except Colorado. That is a really good development for farmers and ranchers.”
The next phase is implementation, and Parrish says Farm Bureau has some work to do on that.
“Implementation is where the rubber meets the road. We’re going to have to partner with this administration to ensure that the transparency and the clarity that the agencies wanted when they developed this rule, we want to make sure that we partner with them so that vision is realized. That means that we still have work to do.”
It’s always good to know exactly what challenges are in front of us, and unlike the weather, Parrish says the new rule provides farmers some clarity.
“Legal challenges on the scope of the Clean Water Act is nothing new. We’re going to continue to see back and forth. But, I am very hopeful that when people understand that this rule is going to be protective of water quality, it’s going to be protective of the environment, but yet provide the clarity that farmers and ranchers and landowners deserve, I hope they come on board with the fact that this is a good rule.”