Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2023)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling on Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This case reviewed federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction, and the Supreme Court’s decision rejected the highly disputed “significant nexus” test.
“The years of whiplash over what is or is not a water of the U.S. had brought us to a point where no one could tell their headwater from their estuary,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “The Supreme Court’s ruling today is a victory for farmers, ranchers, and private property owners across the country and starts us down a path of Clean Water Act implementation that can be sustained.”
“Water quality is a critical issue, but that doesn’t mean every puddle on the farm needs to be subject to federal jurisdiction,” Conner concluded. “NCFC and the farmer-owned cooperatives we represent remain fully committed to federal, state and local efforts to work with agriculture to protect surface water quality throughout the U.S. We hope the certainty provided by today’s decision will give us all a solid framework to work together for lasting solutions.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn consist of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 17 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.