November 01, 2016

WOTUS Wars and Endangered Species: Where Will Farmers Find Their Legal High Ground?

Thomas P. Redick and Christopher Brooks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) finalized their Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in June 2015. See EPA, The Final Clean Water Rule, 80 Fed. Reg. 37054 (2015), available at www.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/final-clean-water-rule. This rule, if not vacated by courts or Congress, could expand federal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the reach of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). EPA says its WOTUS rule is not expanding jurisdiction, but farmer opponents believe otherwise.

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