Waco, Tx (FOX44) – The Texas Farm Bureau headquartered in Waco has applauded a Supreme Court ruling stating that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority with proposed rules on wetlands.

The court narrowed which waters are subject to federal protections under the Clean Water Act, limiting the Environmental Protection Agency`s authority in terms of where it can implement safeguards.

In its decision, the court ruled that in order for a wetland to receive protection, it needs to have a “continuous surface connection” with a protected body of water, making the two areas “indistinguishable” from one another.

Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said this was very important for farmers and ranchers as well as overall private property owners.

“The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a tremendous victory for private property rights and for farmers and ranchers in Texas and across the nation. The EPA overstepped its authority. This case represented blatant overreach by a federal agency that willfully disregarded the property rights of landowners in its application of the Clean Water Act. This issue has been a focus for many years, and it’s gratifying to see the rights of landowners protected and the authority of government reined in by the Court’s decision.” 

Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening

In a statement issued back in January, Boening further defined what the problem with the rule would have been.

“Texas farmers and ranchers cannot know whether their property or project contains WOTUS (Waters of the United States), because the rule is hopelessly vague. The rule reaches far too broadly to cover wet patches and areas that are usually dry or remote from navigable water”

Boening said the rule would have required landowners to hire environmental consultants, attorneys and engineers to ensure they were in compliance while trying to farm their land. He said the rule would have had broad impacts throughout the country.

Those opposing the rule said it would slow down or halt projects, increase costs, eliminate jobs, all without improving water quality, which Congress trusted states and localities to regulate where navigation is not involved.