What’s Up with WOTUS: An Overview of “Waters of the United States” and Why it Matters to Agriculture


Brigit Rollins, NALC staff attorney

Waters of the United States, otherwise known as WOTUS, has been a hot topic lately. With the Environmental Protection Agency recently releasing a new rule to redefine the critical Clean Water Act term, it seems like everyone is talking about WOTUS. But what exactly are waters of the United States, and why do they matter? This webinar is the first in a two-part series that will provide an overview of what WOTUS is, why it’s relevant to agriculture, and what exactly is up with WOTUS in 2023.

Specifically, this first webinar will give an in-depth explanation of what WOTUS is and go over some WOTUS history. Additionally, this webinar will provide context to help viewers understand what is going on with the current WOTUS definition.


Time and Date: 


 Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Noon – 1 p.m. (EDT)

11 a.m. – Noon (CDT)


Watch a Recording of the Webinar Here


Brigit began her life in Sonoma County, in the heart of California’s wine country. Growing up, she was surrounded by small farms, dairies, and wineries, which ultimately led to a passion for agriculture and the environment. She attended Sonoma State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, and a minor in studio arts. While at Sonoma State, Brigit studied different types of agricultural methods and how those methods could be used to promote environmental sustainability. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2015, she started as a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. While at Lewis & Clark, she worked as a student clerk for the Western Resources Legal Center, where she worked on cases assisting small ranches, farms, and municipalities. During her time at Lewis & Clark, she also interned with the California Farm Bureau Federation, and worked as a law clerk for the Sacramento-based environmental law firm Somach Simmons & Dunn. While at the California Farm Bureau, Brigit focused on Environmental Species Act issues and water law issues, as well as issues specific to California. While at Somach Simmons & Dunn, Brigit expanded her work on water law and participated in work involving federal Indian law. On campus, Brigit was on the board of Lewis & Clark’s Food & Ag Law Society and served as a student member of the ABA Public Lands Committee.  She is licensed to practice law in Oregon.

Brigit began her work at the Center as a research fellow during her second year of law school. As a research fellow, Brigit worked on a wide variety of agricultural law topics ranging from liability issues to the new frontier of lab-grown meat. In 2019, Brigit graduated from Lewis & Clark and joined the Center full-time. At the Center, her primary area of research and scholarship is environmental law as it intersects with agriculture. She maintains an interest in promoting sustainability and environmental health through agriculture and resource use.

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Slides from Presentation