Many of the things farmers do on a daily basis to produce food and maintain their land come under strict environmental oversight.
NAWG works on a variety of environmental issues to ensure policymakers have accurate information and to advocate for laws and regulations that are appropriate for agricultural operations.
Clean Water Act
A number of Supreme Court rulings in recent years have have complicated the definition of the “navigable waters of the United States,” over which the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers have authority under the Clean Water Act.
In April 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a regulation defining waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. Subsequently, a final regulation was issued in May 2015. NAWG expressed concern regarding both the proposed regulation and the final regulation for the expanded jurisdiction of the Act and lack of clarity provided to growers.NAWG believes the regulation will not provide clarification for growers in determining which waters on their farming operation may become jurisdictional under the regulation.
NAWG endorsed legislation to require EPA to revise the regulation and issue a new proposal. NAWG is reviewing a 2018 proposal by the EPA creating a revised Waters of the U.S. regulation.
On December 12, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) proposed a definition of “waters of the United States” that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposal replaces the EPA’s 2015 definition as created under the former Obama Administration. NAWG welcomes the new proposed rule and plans on submitting comments.