An American Farm Bureau official says whatever the Biden EPA decides to do with Trump Waters of the U.S. or WOTUS reforms, clarity should be key, especially in a pandemic. The AFBF’s Don Parrish said a return to the Obama 2015 water rule with its complicated definitions and sweeping regulatory reach, won’t help farmers or food security in a pandemic.


“I’m concerned that when government erects barriers in ways that create problems. Again, they’ve moved beyond regulations that are good for the environment and they’re clear for people to be able to comply with. Once you undercut that as your goal and objective, all of a sudden you erect barriers that could definitely undercut food security.”

Biden's pick to head EPA Michael Regan told Senate Ag members last week, he’ll review Trump WOTUS replacement rules, but still try to provide some certainty to producers, especially small farmers. Parrish argues more complex rules will only ‘muddy’ clean water regulations again and harm, not help, the environment.

“Clear rules mean we can have clear water, clean water. And the less, the more opaque the rules are, the more chances that farmers are going to have to run afoul of the statute that has really, really high criminal and civil penalties associated with it.”

Those penalties reached as high as $37,500 a day, and Parrish says would be challenged again in cases reaching the Supreme Court, where a 6-3 conservative majority now sits.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network