Waters of the U.S.
The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. If put into place, farming and ranching practices, and private land use, would be federally regulated. Farm Bureau chief lobbyist Dale Moore says they want members to get involved in its new "Ditch the Rule" campaign.
MOORE: We want our grassroots members letting their members of Congress know this EPA rule violates the intention of Congress in the Clean Water Act. That we need Congress to stop EPA's ability to move forward on a rule that we believe is just flat wrong.
Farm Bureau believes EPA's proposed rule is an end-run around congressional intent and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, that EPA doesn't have regulatory power in this issue.
MOORE: If this rule goes into place, those state officials and local officials will lose their ability to make decisions on local economic development, land use planning and other things that folks who are closest to it can make the best decision. It appears to be an effort to move all of that to Washington, D.C.
EPA says certain exemptions will protect farmers from the new rule, but Moore says they only apply to longstanding farms, not new farms.
MOORE: These exemptions, they've been narrowed and made regulatory by the EPA guidance. This is just one more effort that the EPA, by saying that they're providing certainty, they've provided certainty, and the certainty is this new rule dramatically expands their jurisdiction over not just the waters, but the lands of the U.S.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.