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Iowa Farm Bureau concerned over EPA’s water rule reversal

Photo Courtesy of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill says the state’s farmers are disappointed by the EPA’s intention to rewrite the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

EPA’s announcement on Wednesday comes after EPA Administrator Michael Regan recently recognized flaws in the 2015 Obama-era WOTUS Rule and pledged not to return to those “overreaching regulations.” Hill tells IARN this latest news that EPA is set to roll back the current Navigable Waters Protection Rule is disappointing to Iowa farmers.

“The ambiguity and concern that we have makes us very nervous,” said Hill. “We want clear rules, clean water and we thought we had that with the existing rule. There is a lot of concern out there.”

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst called the decision a “gut punch” to Iowans. In a press release, the senator said, “I fought tooth and nail to get the Obama-Biden WOTUS rule off the books and put in place a clearer, more flexible rule for farmers and ranchers under the Trump Administration. Now, President Biden plans to undo all that progress.”

Hill said that any changes to the rule must consider the concerns of farmers before making significant regulatory actions impacting farmers’ livelihoods.

“The efforts to write a new rule, we’re hopeful will be one that is informed and robust and consistent to the law,” said Hill. “It needs to be durable to the courts. We need to see that, and we need to see how it’s written and how it’s drafted.”

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said his organization is “extremely disappointed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement.”