Washington, D.C. (December 30, 2022)—“The WOTUS rule published today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, although an earnest attempt to address a longstanding issue, will greatly amplify uncertainty for America’s farmers and ranchers, as federal regulators will be making case-by-case determinations based on highly subjective factors. While the rule does reel-in some of the dramatic regulatory overreach seen in the 2015 rule published during the Obama administration, it would still bring significant acreage that was not subject to regulation prior to 2015 under federal jurisdiction. It is especially unfortunate that this action has been taken while the Supreme Court continues deliberations on a WOTUS case heard this fall, since a decision in that case may once again require changes to the rule.
“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 US. We do not believe the provisions in this rule will help us work together towards that critical goal.”
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 2,000 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.