UEP Submits Comments on Proposed WOTUS Rule

April 18, 2019

UEP submitted comments this week on behalf of egg producers to U.S. EPA on the agency’s proposed rule defining “Waters of the U.S.” and therefore subject to the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction.  The Trump Administration proposed the new rule earlier this year.  Once final, these new definitions would supersede those in the Obama Administration’s rule that has been mired in litigation since issued in 2015.

UEP’s comments noted that egg producers support restoring and protecting the nation’s waters and they have and will continue to take practical steps to do so through sound manure management on egg farms.  UEP’s comments emphasized that the proposal reflects the meaning and purpose of the CWA’s text and Congressional intent, consistent with the Constitution.  Congress provided for a balancing of critical efforts to protect the environment alongside our nation’s efforts to support and pursue numerous, other critical societal objectives.  Congress also explicitly sought to ensure that the states’ retained their primary responsibilities over pollution control and planning the use of land and water resources in the CWA statutory provisions.  The proposed rule is consistent with these considerations and demonstrates that achieving the CWA’s goals does not require jurisdiction over every feature that holds or carries water.

In addition to submitting comments, UEP joined in three other sets of group comments:  those prepared by the American Farm Bureau Federation and organized by the Agricultural Nutrients Policy Council, the Waters Advocacy Coalition, and those prepared by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and signed by several other poultry organizations.  Please contact UEP’s Environmental Consultant Tom Hebert (tom.hebert@bayardridge.com) with questions on the WOTUS rule.