Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., responded to Friday’s federal appeals court ruling that temporarily blocked implementation of a new EPA regulation that would negatively impact Louisiana’s agricultural industry.
The “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule would increase the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s jurisdiction over Louisiana waters and authority to enforce the Clean Water Act.
“We have heard from thousands of agriculture producers in Louisiana on how the WOTUS could require them to get government permits for activities that have been considered a normal part of farming. Louisiana farmers typically follow “best management practices” and are stewards of the land. They earn their living by working their land and want to protect it. This rule, which is intended to keep streams and wetlands clean, is unnecessary and over burdensome,” said Strain.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued the stay halting implementation of the ruling nationwide. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and eighteen other states filed suit against the EPA. In the lawsuit, Attorney General Caldwell contends that the proposal is unconstitutional and that it violates the federal Administrative Procedures Act.
This issue can be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court.