AEM Senior Vice President Charlie O'Brien issued the following statement about the EPA's recent move to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
The equipment manufacturing industry appreciates the steps taken today by the EPA to finally end the misguided Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
Equipment manufacturers strongly support efforts to ensure that modern agriculture is more sustainable and efficient than ever. That is why our industry has led the way in developing technology to promote more environmentally-sensitive farming practices.
The WOTUS proposal was a classic example of government overreach that would have harmed farmers' livelihoods. AEM members look forward to working with the relevant agencies and other stakeholders to shape a more reasonable alternative to the flawed WOTUS rule.
WOTUS, a Clean Water Act regulation designed to help clarify the EPA's authority over various waters, gave the government broad authority over U.S. land and water. A number of U.S. Supreme Court decisions gave the EPA jurisdiction over both "navigable" waters and waters with a significant hydrologic connection to navigable waters. The regulation extended to, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation. It also covered lands adjacent to such waters.
In February, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling on the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to either repeal or revise WOTUS.