Water & Wetlands

Because of broad interpretation of the “significant nexus” test for determining regulatory jurisdiction over wetlands in the current draft of the Clean Water Act (CWA), there is debate regarding who has jurisdiction over what waters.

PLC Believes: The original intent of Environmental Protection Act’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction is truly those waters which are navigable by some sort of craft.

EPA and the Corps Believes: The EPA the Corps have jurisdiction over all types of waters because they are including wetlands that eventually lead to a navigable waterway, even if they are not navigable in certain places.

Impact on Ranchers: If the EPA and Corps were to have regulatory authority of any waterway that could lead to a navigable pathway, farmers and ranchers would face significantly increased regulatory burden. Producers could be required to obtain permits for common, everyday activities, like driving a tractor near an irrigation ditch or grazing cattle near a mud hole. These normal, environmentally sound activities should not fall under the regulatory authority of a federal agency.