The American Farm Bureau Federation is suing the federal government to halt a change to federal water regulations.

The rule announced Dec. 30 is vague and defines federal authority over private lands too broadly, Farm Bureau and 17 other organizations said in a Jan. 18 filing in a Texas federal court.

“Farmers and ranchers should not have to hire a team of lawyers and consultants to determine how we can farm our land,” said Zippy Duvall, the Farm Bureau president.

A succession of presidential administrations have tinkered with the definition of the waters of the United States — the water bodies the federal government can regulate under the Clean Water Act.

Environmental groups praised the Biden administration’s version, saying it added important protections.

But Farm Bureau and other ag groups liked the Trump administration’s rule, which scaled back the definition set by the Obama administration.

The Supreme Court heard a challenge to the rule, known as WOTUS, in October.

Other plaintiffs in Farm Bureau’s suit include the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the Associated General Contractors of America.


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