Pruitt says WOTUS should provide "certainty"

Published online: Aug 20, 2017 News
Viewed 632 time(s)

Federal EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says, as the agency works to develop a new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, his top objective is to provide certainty to landowners.

“When the EPA defines a ‘Waters of the United States’ as being a puddle, a dry creek bed and an ephemeral drainage ditch, then clearly they were misplaced–and they have not provided great certainty to landowners,” Pruitt says.

Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill agrees with Pruitt.

“Every farmer has a different topography and they want to know if their grass waterway or their terraces comply with federal law,” Hill says.

Pruitt was in Iowa for meetings with farmers and state officials. He says the Obama administration’s approach to water regulation was too “adversarial."

“As I talk to farmers and ranchers, I first want them to understand that I see them as partners,” Pruitt says. “I see them as co-partners in achieving good outcomes and that they’re going to take care of the water that they have on their land and that they desire to do so.”

President Trump issued an executive order in February that set in motion the ultimate withdrawal of the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule. While Pruitt’s agency drafts a replacement, pre-2015 standards remain in place.