Farm Bureau Members Participate in WOTUS Listening Session


The Small Business Administration hosted a public listening session Thursday, giving farmers and ranchers an opportunity to share how repealing and replacing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule would impact them. Courtney Briggs, Farm Bureau Senior Congressional Relations Director, says it was important that agriculture’s side of the story is told.

“Unfortunately, the agency certified that this rule would have zero impact on small businesses. And in reality, there’s nothing that could be further from the truth. So, this is an opportunity for folks to give real world examples and hear straight from the horse’s mouth from small businesses on how this will affect their businesses.”

Briggs says Farm Bureau members told the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency how the proposed rule will be detrimental to their businesses.

“They were able to tell the firsthand experiences that they’ve had going through the permitting process and dealing with the Army Corps. We even had a member who participated from his farm field and was standing in a dry ephemeral feature that would be subject to jurisdiction under this proposed new WOTUS definition.”

She adds small businesses and farms need stability when it comes to waters of the U.S.

“We hope that they were listening and that they will slow down the regulatory process and recognize the impacts that this rule will have on small businesses. At this stage, this is just a proposed rule. So, changes need to be made in order to make sure that small businesses are protected. So, we hope that that message got through to the agencies and that they will act accordingly.”