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President Trump issues executive order to repeal WOTUS

President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday repealing the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Many Ag groups and Iowa Senators  praised the administration.

“We appreciate the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “We fully support the repeal of the WOTUS rule. Farmers and ranchers care deeply about clean water, but this rule had significant flaws. It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible, and extremely difficult to implement.”

American Soybean Association President Ron Moore, who farms in the Mississippi River watershed in western Illinois, issued the following statement on the administration’s action:

“We are very happy to see a signal of clarity to come on the Clean Water Rule from President Trump today. Our concern with the rule has always about the nonspecific and overly broad nature of the rule as written, and never about the paramount goal of cleaner water and more environmentally sound farming practices.”

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and who has worked to get rid of the rule issued the following statement:

“Today’s action is a significant step forward toward rolling back the burdensome WOTUS rule that hamstrings Iowa farmers, businesses and manufacturers,” said Senator Ernst. “Throughout my 99 county tour across the state, I hear from folks repeatedly calling for this rule to be scrapped, which is why I have led efforts to do just that. This ill-conceived rule gives the EPA extensive power to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in the state of Iowa, breeding uncertainty and confusion for many in Iowa and across the country. 

The WOTUS rule, which was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama Administration, was challenged in courts by more than 30 states, environmental organizations, and numerous industry groups. In October 2015, a federal appeals court issued a stay preventing the rule’s implementation.