Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Farmers, Ranchers Dispute Legal Limits of Revamped Water Rule

Cattlemen in the West are gearing up for a legal battle over the Trump administration’s revamped water jurisdiction rule, even as a national trade association of farmers that touts itself as the “unified voice of agriculture” supports the change.
Ranchers in New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington state want no federal control of any body of water that crosses their lands. They’ve asked the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative nonprofit legal firm, to sue on their behalf to fix what they see as lingering “federal overreach” problems with the most recent definition of the waters of the U.S., or WOTUS.
The cattlemen claim the new WOTUS definition, released last month, will require them to spend thousands of dollars in seeking Clean Water Act permits if they plow through or dredge water bodies and wetlands that have been deemed federally protected.
“That’s not just a feasible way for farmers and ranchers to use their land,” said PLF senior attorney Anthony L. Francois, who is representing the cattlemen.
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