The Congressional Western Caucus Fall Mini Agriculture Summit Roundtable was held at Bismarck State College on Friday.
North Dakota’s U.S. Congressional officials met with North Dakota’s Ag Commissioner and representatives from farm groups, including the ND Grazing Commission and ND Farmers Union. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss agriculture policy, drought, and assistance from Congress.
One key topic was the EPA’s revision of the “Waters of the United States” or (WOTUS) guidelines.
The Obama-era WOTUS Rule enforces the geographic reach of the EPA’s authority to regulate streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water pursuant to the Clean Water Act. The EPA’s reinstatement of the rule restores pollution protections of waterways that were stripped by the Trump administration. Congressman Kelly Armstrong says the WOTUS Rule is unpopular among North Dakota’s producers.
“Taken to its most draconian place it would put something like 86% of all acres in North Dakota under Federal Control. That’s a cost to producers, that’s a cost to consumers, that’s a cost to everybody. And we need to make sure that we allow producing states to have control over production,” said Armstrong.
North Dakota’s Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem successfully challenged WOTUS in 2018. U.S. Senator Kevin Cramers says it is likely that North Dakota will challenge the EPA rule a second time.