Troublesome WOTUS Rule Struck Down in Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Dec 15, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC -- The $1.1 trillion fiscal 2015 spending bill that funds most of the federal government for the remainder of FY 2015 passed the Senate over the weekend.  The bill includes a series of policy riders important to agriculture.
 
Under the legislation, both the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development program (FMD) will receive full authorized funding of $200 million and $34.5 million respectively for FY 2015.
 
Another directive included in H.R. 83, the so-called 'Crominbus' bill, kills an interpretive rule detailing agricultural exemptions to Clean Water Act permitting requirements.  The interpretive rule was issued in conjunction with a proposed rule defining what areas are regulated as "waters of the United States," or WOTUS, and has created confusion in the oversight agencies as to what practices they can regulate with and without permits. 
 
"This legislation is positive on a couple fronts for the U.S. rice industry," said Ben Mosely, the USA Rice Federation vice president of government affairs.  "Uninterrupted funding for international market promotion keeps our promotion programs overseas running smoothly and consistently.  And the WOTUS rule, which some of our producers refer to as 'significantly nebulous,' had the potential to create more problems than it promised to solve."
 
H.R. 83 now goes to President Obama to be signed into law. 
 
Contact:  Steve Hensley (703) 236-1445