August 31, 2021

Contact: David Schuller

Today, National Farmers Union Vice President Patty Edelburg provided remarks during a public stakeholder meeting hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the agencies’ intention to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Edelburg, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, explained that NFU members understand the importance of clean water, both on their own farms and ranches, and as a shared resource. She also expressed members’ concerns about broadening the definition of what waters are considered jurisdictional under the CWA.

Edelburg asked the agencies to seek a sensible approach to environmental policy, one that protects the public and the environment, without unduly burdening farmers. In addition, NFU implored the agencies to conduct extensive outreach and engage with stakeholders, including family farmers and ranchers, throughout the rulemaking process.

“As the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA start writing rules to achieve sound environmental goals, we also ask that you consider the needs farmers and ranchers have for those rules to be clear, easy to interpret, and economically practical. We also strongly encourage the agencies to continue to conduct outreach, to listen carefully to the concerns of farmers and ranchers, and to understand the unique challenges they face on their land,” said Edelburg.

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National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.

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