MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) applauds today’s announcement by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler that the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule has been withdrawn.
The next step will be a new final rule expected towards the end of this year.
NCC Chairman Mike Tate noted that the U.S. cotton industry has long sought consistency and simplicity in water regulations and said, “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 commonsense 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.”