Southeast Iowa producer weighs in on WOTUS

| January 19, 2022

Contact: Anna Hastert, Director of Communications, Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 515-296-2266, Contact Us.

On Jan. 18, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army held a virtual public hearing on Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The federal agencies solicit public input, as the Biden Administration seeks to replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). Sparky Wellman, of southeast Iowa, provided comment on behalf of Iowa cattle producers. Wellman emphasized the need for clear, commonsense regulation which matches our commitment to protecting the land and natural resources.  

“We in agriculture have come a long way with many improvements…not because of regulations and mandates, but because clean land, air and water are essential to us as farmers and ranchers…,” Wellman said. 

The NWPR, enacted under the Trump Administration, rolled back “red tape” by providing important agricultural exemptions. Wellman asked for federal regulation to be limited, as overreaching regulations impact producers’ day-to-day operations. 

 “We should recognize the agriculture exclusions that were in both the Obama and Trump definitions of WOTUS as necessary and relevant. The navigable water component is essential,” Wellman said. “We cannot allow jurisdiction to be overextended beyond anything envisioned by the Supreme Court. We must remain consistent with the Clean Water Act and prior Supreme Court rulings that limit federal regulation of small bodies of water.”

About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 8,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”