There has been a mixed reaction from the agriculture community regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule announced this week. Some ag organizations are calling it an ag friendly announcement and say that the rule keeps many agricultural exemptions in place while adding a few new exemptions, and encourages farmers and ranchers to enroll in conservation programs. Other ag groups, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association retort that the EPA’s proposal to put even more waterways, streams and wetlands under protection of the Clean Water Act “is a vast overreach”, and that such a proposal will be costly for cattlemen who will in many instances have to obtain expensive and burdensome permits to do even the most ordinary of everyday chores, such as moving cattle across a wet pasture. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that she believes “the new rule will improve the Clean Water Act and reward farmers and other landowners for long-standing conservation practices.” The EPA also stresses that the proposed rule is supported by the latest peer-reviewed science. Whether you agree or disagree, you will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register.