The National Cotton Council (NCC) applauds the withdrawal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
The announcement was made September 12 by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler. A new final rule is expected near the end of this year.
In a statement, NCC Chairman Mike Tate noted that the U.S. cotton industry has long sought consistency and simplicity in water regulations, saying, “EPA’s decision ends the uncertainty caused by the WOTUS rule and the resulting, sometimes conflicting, court verdicts that led to a patchwork of regulations nationwide.”
Tate, an Alabama cotton producer, stated, “Cotton producers and all of agriculture deserve a common sense and understandable rule that not only ensures environmental and human health, but protects farmland and our rights to conduct our operations in a responsible and economically sustainable manner with flexibility that wasn’t present under the 2015 rule.
“While nothing is perfect, we foresee the new rule as one that does not label as ‘waters of the U.S.’ those vast areas of dry land that have been farmed for generations,” he added.
Based on information from the National Cotton Council