Concerns of cattlemen regarding the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the U.S. rule released last month are coming true, National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said Tuesday, but that's actually generating more support for repeal efforts.
"We just got some more feedback this last weekend that it's the determination of the EPA that any stock tank or pond that runs around in a flooding type event would be considered a 'water of the United States,'" he said. "So the very concerns we've had all along that the administrator has told us we don't need to worry about are coming true. I think that's helped us get the support in Congress."
That bipartisan support is for bills in both the House and Senate that would curb the rule's impact on farmers, ranchers, construction industries and more.
Woodall said legislators are receptive to farmers' feedback on the rule and are aware EPA is moving forward with the rule "even with all the concerns," Woodall said.
"We really are up against the clock right now on trying to get Congress to act before full implementation of this rule is realized by all of us on the producer side," Woodall said.
He noted that NCBA will be a part of a lawsuit against EPA alleging overreach in Waters of the U.S. rule. Given the case history on WOTUS, he said, "we could very well wind up in the Supreme Court. And we're prepared to do that."
Continued reading: Panel suggests costs, regulations too great with Waters of U.S.