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July 2, 2015




Jon Huffmaster (478) 474-0679, ext. 5284;




Ga. Attorney General Sam Olens files lawsuit to overturn new “Waters of the United States” rule


MACON, Ga. – Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) commends Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens’ actions to strike down the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


“This rule infringes on private property rights by negatively impacting the way landowners use their property and will lead to burdensome permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act for many common land use practices,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall.


Olens filed suit in federal court on June 30,  joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, arguing the finalized WOTUS rule violates the parameters established by the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the WOTUS rule unlawful, issue an injunction preventing enforcement of the rule, and order the agencies to re-write the rule in its entirety so it complies with existing law.


GFB members submitted more than 15,550 comments during the public comment period in 2014. After analysis of the final rule, the organization has concluded that the EPA and Corps of Engineers did not consider agricultural interests in writing the final rule.


“We believe the WOTUS rule will have significant negative consequences and allow an agency, unchecked by voters or Congress, to infringe upon the sovereignty of states to manage their intrastate waters and lands. We thank Attorney General Olens for protecting the interests of Georgia’s largest industry from this undue and unauthorized regulation,” Duvall said.


About Georgia Farm Bureau


Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization and has 158 county chapters. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 agricultural commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major crops and livestock grown in Georgia.