Understanding Proposed Changes to the Waters of the United States Rule
In a virtual briefing on September 21, guest speaker U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and NFIB Government Relations Manager Mitch Relfe discussed what small business landowners need to know about Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The Biden Administration is seeking to repeal the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and replace it with a rule that would expand federal jurisdiction significantly impacting owners with lands that are wet only part of the year, similar to what was proposed during the Obama Administration.
“WOTUS is the most overreaching federal regulation ever put into place,” said Congressman Newhouse. “It essentially placed every single body of water in the United States under federal regulation. Everything. It just has created a logistical nightmare for landowners, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across the entire country.”
This briefing outlines the history of WOTUS and confusion surrounding the definition of navigable waters over the years. “WOTUS certainly impacts agriculture and farmers, they work with the land, Newhouse explains. “Under the WOTUS rules of the Obama-Biden administration many farmers were faced with the uncertainty of how they can continue to farm their land.”
Take action: Send a message to your legislators and help them understand the harmful effects of the overreaching 2015 WOTUS rule so we may work to preserve the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule.