Farmers now have through September 27th to sign on to Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) Legislative Action Center to submit pre-written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showing support for their proposal to withdraw the overreaching Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
“EPA recently extended the comment deadline and to date has received nearly 30,000 electronically-submitted comments,” said Laura Campbell, MFB’s Agriculture Ecology Department manager. “It’s critical farmers continue to show strong support for repealing the rule because it’s safe to assume a segment of those 30,000 comments are from activist groups opposing the rule repeal.”
The flawed WOTUS rule gave EPA the power to regulate almost anywhere it wanted on any landscape where water might pool or flow. If the repeal is successful, federal jurisdiction will return to the way it was written before the 2015 WOTUS rule. Many activists will oppose this action because they support the expanded federal control, which is why it is critical for farmers to speak up in support of withdrawal.
When the agency finally rescinds the rule, it will then begin a second rule-making effort and develop new language after a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of "Waters of the U.S." This new effort promises to better respond to states and stakeholders who opposed the 2015 WOTUS rule. This will mean more public comment opportunities, more potential lawsuits, and the need for farmers to stay engaged and make sure we make our voices heard.
Share this information and Legislative Action Center link (www.michfb.com/ACT) with county Farm Bureau members, other associations, legislators, and anyone who wants to help farmers continue the ability to farm without burdensome federal overreach.