Trump To Reverse Obama-Era Water Regulations - Massive Win For Farmers
Rollback of the environmental rule that threatened farmers
The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama-era environmental rule that saw farmers face massive fines or even jail time if they failed to comply with regulations on waterways.
The rule, known as the “Waters of the US” or WOTUS, was implemented by the Obama administration in 2015.
The oppressive rule was meant to define which waters were subject to the regulations of the Clean Water Act, but instead just ended up confusing landowners, and made running their businesses more difficult.
Though WOTUS was supposed to include agricultural exemptions for farmers, the federal government sued John Duarte for $2.8 million for plowing his field without a permit due to residing on seasonal wetlands.
The Trump administration’s move to undo WOTUS was described as a win for landowners and pushback on government overreach by a senior administration official.
The official told the Daily Caller:
“Today, the Trump Administration announced its repeal of President Obama’s oppressive WOTUS regulation."
"For years, this rule has been used by government agencies to punish farmers and private landowners with out-of-control fines and imprisonment for simply working to protect or better their property."
"This is another promise kept for our farmers and ranchers as President Trump continues to remove crushing regulations from the American people.”
In another case form 2016, a 77-year-old Navy veteran was prosecuted and sent to prison for digging ponds around his Montana home to keep wildfires at bay.
The EPA determined that Robertson had dug too close to “navigable water” without a permit because the ponds were connected to a foot-wide “river."
The Obama administration claimed the rule was necessary to protect U.S. waterways from pollution.
“The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water,” senior White House adviser Brian Deese said in 2015.
“The status quo is rife with unsustainable confusion over what’s protected and what’s not.”
The report shows that Trump’s support among farmers is growing over last year, with over two-thirds now saying they would back him for reelection.
According to Bloomberg, a survey of 1,150 growers conducted by Farm Futures in late July and early August shows that support for Trump is up to 67 percent, compared to just under 60 percent last year.
Still, growers backing Trump believe something needs to be done about the U.S. trade deficit even if the outcome is bad for agriculture in the short term said Farm Futures Executive Editor Mike Wilson.