Taken To Court: Why AFBF attorneys say WOTUS lawsuit was needed

An attorney for the American Farm Bureau says their lawsuit filed alongside other agricultural groups against the EPA’s final WOTUS rule was needed, especially because Sackett vs. EPA does not tackle the new rule.

“Sackett could be as soon as March or as late as June of this year, but either way, even if Sackett tells EPA what they’re trying to do here is unlawful and incorrect, you still need a new lawsuit, which is ours, to strike down this rule because the Sackett decision would not be addressing this current rule,” said AFBF Deputy General Counsel Travis Cushman.

If this high court’s decision narrows the definition of WOTUS, Cushman says it would send the EPA back to the drawing board. He says he will keep fighting because there are limits to what the government can regulate when it comes to private property.

“We don’t think that it’s appropriate that a farmer would need a team of lawyers and consultants to figure out what they can and can’t farm on their land. That’s the heart of the issue. We think that the Supreme Court’s been clear on this. We think that the Clean Water Act is clear on this, that there are limits to what the EPA and the Corps can do,” Cushman said.

The American Farm Bureau says it is hopeful the courts will be able to clearly define WOTUS this year after decades of discussions and legal battles.