Washington, D.C. (September 12, 2019)–The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today commended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) for repealing the 2015 “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule for purposes of the Clean Water Act. This rule, promulgated by the Obama Administration, contained an overly broad definition of a WOTUS and would have imposed onerous federal regulations on farms and ranches across the country.
The action also ends a patchwork of WOTUS regulations caused by court decisions across the country that resulted in tremendous uncertainty and confusion for America’s farmers and ranchers. WOTUS regulations now return to those that existed prior to 2015 until the EPA and the Corps issue a new WOTUS rule in the coming months.
“The repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule ends the broad federal overreach embodied in the rule written by the previous administration,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “With this action, the Trump administration is continuing its commitment to defending farmers, ranchers and growers from burdensome and costly regulations that result in little impact on the environment.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.