Home Indiana Agriculture News Pressure Mounts on Congress to Deal With WOTUS

Pressure Mounts on Congress to Deal With WOTUS


Don Vilwock 2With a court ruling on Friday that place a nationwide stay on the enforcement of the EPA’s controversial Waters of the US regulation, the focus turned to Congress to pass a permanent abolishment of the rule. “This is not over,” said Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau. “We still don’t know how the courts will rule on this case. We still need Congressional action.”  Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, added, “Court battles take months, if not years – and come at a considerable cost. There has to be a better way for us to work together on a rule that is successful and lawful. That’s why we are asking the Senate to step up and pass S1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. This law would stop WOTUS and give the EPA, the Army Corps, farmers, and other stakeholders the chance to work together on a better rule that we can all support.”


Senator Joe Donnelly

Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, one of the chief sponsors of anti-WOTUS legislation in the Senate, said in a statement Friday afternoon, “Today’s federal court ruling is in line with the concerns I have raised all along: when you write a rule without significant input from those impacted, including farmers, small business owners, and local governments, legal challenges are inevitable. No one wants cleaner water or better land conditions than the people who live and work on the land, alongside these waters every day. Instead of further lengthy and costly court battles, the EPA should accept today’s decision and decide to work with local stakeholders to find a common sense solution so that we can provide our ag producers, conservationists, and county and local governments with the regulatory certainty they need to continue efforts to improve water quality. I call on the EPA to work with me and my colleagues, Republican and Democratic, to advance the bipartisan legislation, like that I helped introduce, to provide a permanent and timely solution.”


House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) said, “This is a tremendous victory for agriculture and the 18 states that challenged the EPA on its egregious power grab. I have vocalized my concerns since the EPA and Army Corps first proposed this rule, knowing that farmers and ranchers – the best and original stewards of our nation’s land and water – would suffer dire consequences if the agencies pushed forward without consulting the very people the rule would affect. I am encouraged by the court’s decision to stay this rule and the court’s acknowledgment that the states have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims against the EPA. As the states continue challenging the rule, we will continue with our efforts in Congress to defeat the implementation of WOTUS.” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said, “I applaud the court for halting the rule in all states to allow justice, and some might say common sense, to play out.”


Mike PenceIndiana Governor Mike Pence weighed in on Friday saying the long term solution is not in Washington but with the states, “The solutions to the challenges we face will most effectively emanate from our state capitals, not federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.  In Indiana, we are growing our economy, creating jobs, and feeding the world by eliminating bureaucratic red tape and reducing the size of government.  I believe that Hoosiers know best how to protect our waters, and this rule inhibits Indiana’s ability to manage its own