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The American Farm Bureau Federation is working with more than ten partners in litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the U.S. rule.
Its focus is a two pronged approach: the first is already in action in the courts and the second is getting legislators to overturn the rule. President Obama says he would veto stand alone legislation.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst headed the a Joint Resolution of Disapproval that would end the rule.. that passed in a bipartisan vote in the beginning of November.
President of the AFBF Bob Stallman says, "That is the quickest way to resolve the issues with EPA if we can get a piece of legislation passed that the president will sign. So that means we will probably have to put a rider on a must pass piece of legislation like the omnibus. The court side, we have been pretty successful so far, the sixth circuit court of appeals has said that, 'Yeah the plaintiffs may prevail on their points, they've got some good arguments so we're going to put a temporary injunction in place to keep the EPA from implementing the rule.'"
Stallman says the rule threatens most farmers because of a citizen suit provision in WOTUS, "If you do something on a piece of your property that an environmental group doesn't like they can file a citizen suit provision under this law that says, 'Okay, EPA, they're violating the law.' So, it's sort of a gotcha rule. It's not going to be implemented across the country. The EPA's not going to come out to every farm and tell every farmer what they can or can't do. But the threat of litigation, the threat of very significant fines and prosecution exists and so farmers and ranchers are going to be in limbo."