The Waters of the U.S. regulation takes effect Aug. 28, National Cattlemen's Beef Association Environmental Counsel Scott Yager said this week during an NCBA interview, and cattlemen should survey their land for areas that may be subject to regulation.
The WOTUS rule aims to clarify which waters fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. NCBA and a number of other organizations, along with a dozen states, are fighting against the regulation on the grounds that it expands federal jurisdiction and may cover streams that are intermittent or ditches.
According to Yager, NCBA's lawsuit asks for a preliminary injunction, which would prevent the rule from going into effect Aug. 28.
But in the event that is not granted, he said cattlemen should survey their land for water features that may be under the regulation – or even dry features that could carry water during a storm.
Cattlemen also should get in touch with state cattlemen's associations or NCBA if they have questions about the regulation, Yager said. He recommends contacting state or local conservation specialists to ensure
Related: Waters of the U.S. goes to Court
"Those state programs are going to be the ones implementing the rule, ultimately," Yager said.
Legislation to withdraw
Yager noted that House legislation to withdraw the rule and start over, H.R. 1732, has passed. A similar provision in the Senate, however, has yet to be considered by the full chamber.
"We're working as hard as we can to get folks to support their Senators to vote for S. 1140," Yager said, which would bring the rule back to the table and allow agriculture to provide more input on the rule as it's crafted.