Dozens of Groups Challenge EPA's New WOTUS Rule

Regulators can reach any outcome they please, and regulated entities cannot know the outcome until they are already exposed to criminal liability, including crushing fines.”
— Farm Bureau Brief, p. 80, discussing the new WOTUS rule

Over 20 agricultural, industry, and other business organizations filed briefs in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case asking the Court to overturn the EPA's new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The groups, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the American Farm Bureau Federation, argue the EPA violated the law in the way it promulgated the new WOTUS rule and ask the Court to strike or vacate the rule in its entirety.

Farm Bureau explains the EPA failed to comply with procedural safeguards and withheld key documents. The NCBA contends the EPA engaged in inappropriate propaganda campaigns. The various organizations also charge the EPA with violating the Clean Water Act and the 10th Amendment, among other things. The new rule greatly expands the definition of WOTUS, which would expand the EPA's jurisdiction to cover waters "adjacent" to wetlands or traditional interstate waters, which is not the intent of the Clean Water Act. These "adjacent" waters could include ditches that rarely carry water, ephemeral streams, undefined "tributaries" of primary waters, and small water bodies miles away from any traditional navigable waters.

The WOTUS rule under consideration is not currently in effect, having been stayed by an earlier federal court decision. You can read Farm Bureau's brief here. More information on the NCBA's brief is available here