NCBA, NPPC file complaint over WOTUS

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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WASHINGTON – Citing vagueness and subjectivity in its wording, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) have filed a complaint in US District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps over their “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) final rule.

“The WOTUS rule remains a top priority for our producers and for all landowners nationwide,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA president and a Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman, in statement. “While cattlemen have long asked for greater clarity around the Clean Water Act, this rule does the opposite, rendering jurisdictional determinations so vague and subjective that our members cannot possibly make a determination as to what basic ranching activities will subject them to criminal and civil penalties under the Clean Water Act. We remain committed to working with the administration, Congress and through the courts to stop this rule.”
 
The complaint charges that WOTUS “exercises broad control over land use, far beyond what Congress authorized in the Clean Water Act,” according to the NCBA, noting that the ambiguity and breadth of the rule violates the US Constitution.

The Public Lands Council (PLC) and several other organizations are co-plaintiffs in the complaint.

“As cattle producers and landowners, we are extremely concerned by this regulatory overreach by EPA and the Corps,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president and an Idaho rancher, said in a statement. “Litigation is a last resort to exercise our rights against regulation, but producers have determined that this is a necessary step. Several states filed similar litigation requesting injunctive and declaratory relief from this administration’s regulatory rampage.”
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