IFB to participate in federal meetings on WOTUS

By Ashley Rice

Illinois Farm Bureau plans to participate in upcoming virtual meetings hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers concerning the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. 

The two agencies recently announced their intent to revise the definition of WOTUS using two rulemakings.

The first rulemaking would restore the regulations defining WOTUS that were in place until 2015, taking into account Supreme Court decisions. The second rulemaking would refine the regulatory foundation and establish a new definition of WOTUS. 

“We are committed to crafting an enduring definition of WOTUS by listening to all sides so that we can build on an inclusive foundation,” said Michael Regan, EPA Administrator. “Uncertainty over the definition of WOTUS has harmed our waters and the stakeholders and communities that rely on them. I look forward to engaging all parties as we move forward to provide the certainty that’s needed to protect our precious natural water resources.”

In the coming weeks, the agencies will accept written comments in the Federal Register and also plan to host 10 regional roundtables around the U.S. this fall and winter. 

"It is a bit frustrating, a bit fatiguing to know that we're back at it again," Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of environmental policy, told the RFD Radio Network. "The most important thing is for folks to listen and see what transpires in the August virtual sessions. Look out for information from us for opportunities to weigh in on an action request comment period. Stay tuned for what is ahead including 10 roundtables, while we don't know what those look like, other than they in theory would be in person and be hosted by the EPA and Army Corps." 

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.