Cattlemen press Congress on Waters of the U.S. rule

Cattlemen press Congress on Waters of the U.S. rule

Letter encourages Congress to withdraw Waters of the U.S. regulation

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Public Lands Council this week sent a letter to 11 democratic members of the Senate encouraging full withdrawal of the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Related: EPA releases final Waters of the U.S. rule

Despite the recent action by the Senate, NCBA President Philip Ellis and PLC President Brenda Richards said withdrawal of WOTUS remains a top priority for both associations.

"We have a clear opportunity at the end of this year for Congress to withdraw the WOTUS rule and save cattle producers and the states, millions of dollars in litigation expense and years of delay," Ellis said.

Letter encourages Congress to withdraw Waters of the U.S. regulation

"This regulation is disastrous for America's cattlemen and women and all stakeholders. Worse yet, it will do nothing to clarify the Clean Water Act or safeguard our nation's resources."

The letter was sent to 11 Senators who voted against WOTUS legislation, stressing the concerns of cattle producers and other agricultural stakeholders. NCBA affiliates representing cattle producers in those 11 states also signed the letter.

While these Senators did not ultimately support legislation which would have halted WOTUS, they did send a letter to the EPA expressing that they could not support the WOTUS rule, NCBA said.

Though the courts have acted to stay implementation of the rule across the country, "time is running out for Congress to act this year," Richards said.

The groups say that the rule is not clear and the risks associated with WOTUS can't be corrected with EPA guidance.

The letter asks for support of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) which directs the agencies to withdraw this rule.

Additionally, as part of a coalition of 42 stakeholders, NCBA and PLC sent a separate letter to the full Congress urging support for bi-partisan legislative action to withdraw the rule.

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