Farm groups strongly weigh in on EPA water rule hearing


Farm groups strongly weigh in on EPA water rule hearing

Farm groups weighed in on the EPA’s rulemaking process for a new water rule under the Clean Water Act.

Anne Coan with North Carolina Farm Bureau put it this way, “Farmers strongly support the Navigable Waters Protection rule and are, frankly, angry that EPA and the Corps plan to repeal it.”

Lauren Lurkins with the Illinois Farm Bureau expressed frustration with the reopening of the rule and said their members’ biggest concern is the leap in logic in some of the information put out by the EPA and Corps of Engineers…

“And that logic is such that a permit equals environmental protection while no permit equals environmental degradation. That just simply isn’t the case in Illinois and it most certainly is not the case across the country.”

She says Illinois Farm Bureau does not believe ephemeral streams and ditches should be regulated.

Scott Yager with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says while they prefer the typical year standard to the significant nexus standard as was contemplated in the 2015 rule, they believe the EPA and Army Corps should borrow from both rules to make jurisdiction clear to farmers…

“If you take the physical indicators metric from the 2015 rule and you combine that with the flow metric I think you come up with a pretty good rule that really accounts for waters that should be federally jurisdictional and protected by the federal government.”