The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers did very little to incorporate changes suggested by NCBA, KLA and other ag groups in the final version of the waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Ambiguous language in the rule will leave regulation up to the subjectivity of individual regulators across the country.
     NCBA President Philip Ellis criticized EPA for ignoring strong concerns expressed during the public comment process. The agency received more than one million comments on the proposal, but took only six months to issue the final rule.
     According to NCBA, the final rule poses a threat to private property owners and usurps state authority over land and water use. The rule will dramatically increase federal jurisdiction over features like ponds, dry stream beds and floodplains. 
     NCBA and KLA support a bill passed in mid-May by the full U.S. House that would require EPA to withdraw the controversial rule. A similar bill in the U.S. Senate would force EPA to re-start the WOTUS rulemaking process and include stakeholders, especially those in agriculture.

KLA Communications Program Manager Scarlett Hagins provides highlights from the latest Young Stockmen's Academy educational tour.