How will the old WOTUS rule complicate agriculture?
A diverse group of stakeholders spoke in the EPA‘s latest WOTUS roundtable discussion.
It shows there is still much division among groups over how to define Waters of the U.S. An Iowa farmer joined several groups in opposing the definition including ditches and streams. He explained how the old rules complicate agriculture.
“By claiming WOTUS jurisdiction over the state’s upland ditches and drainage features, the Corps has essentially stopped the state’s effort to use USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program to install treatment wetlands to reduce nitrogen loss from drainage water. The Corps is requiring mitigation requirements that cost upwards of $1 million, and this is more than the cost of the wetlands on their own and makes the projects prohibitive.”
Environmental groups, including a North Dakota farmer representing the Sierra Club, disagree. They said all waters are connected, and they advocated for protecting isolated wetlands as well as all streams.