By Angela Bowman, Associate Editor, PORK Network January 20, 2016
Last week, the House passed a joint resolution objecting to the EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This rule, finalized in May 2015, is despised and feared across the agricultural industry. Among the many aspects of the controversial rule is a fine of $37,500 per incident per day per violation if farmers or ranchers have unauthorized discharge of “pollutants” from your farmland that requires a Clean Water Act permit. Read more here.
As the National Pork Producers Council President Dr. Ron Prestage said last year, it’s a rule that is “vague and fails to let regulated parties know when their conduct violates the law.”
“We all want clean water, but this regulation isn’t about clean water,” Prestage said in a statement. “This massive land grab is about federal control of private property, growing the size of government and allowing activists to extort and micromanage all kinds of farming and business activities.”
As of last week, the only thing standing between farmers and the overturning of WOTUS was a presidential veto.
This veto came Tuesday.
"Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable," President Obama said in a veto message to Congress, according to USA Today in an article here. "Pollution from upstream sources ends up in the rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and coastal waters near which most Americans live and on which they depend for their drinking water, recreation, and economic development."
The move wasn’t entirely surprising, as AgWeb’s Anna-Lisa Laca explained in an article here. A quick look at the White House’s website reiterated Obama’s support for WOTUS, with posts such as “Reasons We Need the Clean Water Rule” and “Commitment to Clean Water.”
Republican South Dakota Senator John Thune told WNAX News that while the veto came as no surprise, Congress will not give up their fight against the EPA’s “regulatory regime that has become a burden to agriculture and the general economy.”