Biden, Trump on Clean Water and Navigable Waters Protection Rule


President Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, each took time to respond to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey on agriculture issues.

Question from the American Farm Bureau Federation: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule replaces the 2015 Waters of the United States rule and defines federal water jurisdiction while continuing to protect water quality. The rule will make water and land protection, management and planning more efficient and effective by drawing clearer lines between areas subject to federal versus state jurisdiction and clarifying that usually dry areas should no longer be considered federally regulated waters. As president, do you support the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and would you retain it?

Biden: We can all agree that threats to our water system are threats to our quality of life. In addition to the need for clean drinking water, major sectors of the economy, including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and recreation all depend on clean and reliable water supplies. To address the broad needs concerning water resources, we will focus on investments in new water infrastructure, the repair of water pipelines and sewer systems, replacement of lead service pipes, upgrade of treatment plants, and the integration of efficiency and water quality monitoring technologies. We will also take actions to protect our watersheds and ensure their resiliency by conserving and restoring wetlands and developing green infrastructure, as well as holding polluters accountable and addressing historic environmental injustice. Given the importance to human health, the economy, and the environment, our Administration will review the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to ensure appropriate protections are in place to protect and improve water quality for the benefit of all citizens. We will work closely with farmers and ranchers to promote clarity and certainty by maintaining previous exemptions and exclusions upon which the agricultural community have come to rely. With this and other actions, we will work closely with our agricultural partners to ensure a bright future for rural communities.

Trump: The Obama/Biden Administration implemented rules at EPA that would have made ditches and temporary ponds subject to environmental oversight and regulation. The Trump/Pence Administration completely rewrote this rule to directly address the abuses of the WOTUS rule and bring common sense back to what truly is a navigable water. The net result is a big win for farmers and ranchers who faced enormous regulatory and legal costs because of the far overreaching WOTUS rule imposed by the Obama/Biden Administration.

The Trump/Pence Administration heard the concerns of Farmers and Ranchers across this country about the impact of this misguided Obama-Biden rule that made no sense for rural American, we replaced it, and we will continue to fight any challenges that arise in the courts on this issue.

The Trump/Pence Administration will continue to fight against regulations like the WOTUS rule, a Biden Administration will not only not fight against such decisions they will let radical environmental activities write new and worse rules for farmers and ranchers than we have ever seen.

You can see each candidates answers to other agriculture-related questions below:

Food System Resiliency
Farm Policy Programs
International Trade
Tax Policy
Regulatory Reform
Endangered Species Act
Clean Water
Rural Life and Health
Agricultural Labor
Sustainability and Climate Change