The State of Indiana has joined several other states in last ditch effort to stop the implementation of the EPA’s Waters of the US rule. In less than 60 days, the Waters of the US rule will go into effect. This will give the EPA control over most of the farmland in the US. In an attempt to stop this land grab, a handful of states have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the rule. This week, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced that Indiana would join that lawsuit.
Justin Schneider,with Indiana Farm Bureau, applauds the move, “It shows solidarity with other states.” He said the rule is flawed and does not follow the guidelines of the Clean Water Act and violates precedents set by the Supreme Court. Schneider says the agency and the White House are determined to implement this rule over the objections of farmers, business leaders, Congress, and the states. He said the lawsuit is one way to try and stop implementation. “We are looking for a way to establish balance in water regulations,” he said. “The states have regulations that address many of these issues that the feds now want to take control of.” Both the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management have voiced opposition to the WOTUS rule.
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly is leading an effort in Congress to repeal the rule and force the EPA to start over. In a statement this week, Governor Pence said that, “Indiana will join more than two dozen other states that are challenging the final ‘Waters of the United States’ rule. They cannot be allowed to continue to expand federal authority over more aspects of Hoosiers’ lives.”
Meanwhile, Schneider says farmers are left in the middle, not sure what to do, “There a lot of potential impacts on farmers that EPA is trying to downplay. Farmers are unsure about what is going to happen or what they can do.”