Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

WFB Applauds WOTUS Ruling

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation applauds a federal court’s order to stop nationwide enforcement of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“We are pleased with the Federal District Court ruling to put a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the new WOTUS rules across the nation,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte.

“This rule from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers is a blatant overreach of their jurisdiction and broadens their authority to regulate waters and land,” Holte said. “The expansion and ambiguity of water terminologies in the WOTUS rule allows the Federal Government to regulate almost any local stream, drainage ditch or farmland where the agency believes water may have flowed in the last 100 years.”

“This rule jeopardizes a farmer’s ability to carry out normal farming practices. It may now require a federal permit to do things as simple as plant seed corn that has a protectant on it, spread fertilizer, or apply crop protectant products to control weeds or insects,” said Holte, a beef and grain farmer from Dunn County.

“This court-ordered stay is not permanent and there’s no indication how the courts will rule on this case,” Holte explained. “Without congressional action farmers will face more costly regulations, delayed decisions by agencies that are not responsible to voters, and third party litigation from environmental activists near and far.”

“Wisconsin stands at the forefront of conservation and stewardship of natural resources in our nation. Our existing state standards protect water quality. It’s best to leave the regulation of our state’s natural resources to the experts already working on these issues in Wisconsin.”

“I ask that Wisconsin farmers contact Senators Baldwin and Johnson and ask them to support S. 1140, which would nullify this rule,” Holte said.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization. Made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus, it represents farms of every size, commodity and management style.

— Wisconsin Farm Bureau

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