Pro Farmer Extra
- From the Editors of Pro Farmer newsletter -
June 13, 2014
‘Waters of the U.S.’ defense met with skepticism
Attempts to correct “misinformation” about the proposed waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule as part of the Clean Water Act (CWA) were met with skepticism at a House subcommittee hearing last week. Officials with EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers said the rule would not further restrict farmland use nor would it impact backyard swimming pools or roadside or ag ditches. Pointed questions by lawmakers indicated they were not convinced.
Lawmakers also expressed concern that WOTUS represents a major power grab by the federal government. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said, “It’s the responsibility of Congress, not the administration, to define the scope of regulatory jurisdiction under the CWA.”
Another critique was the lack of input from states. Rep. Don Young (R-Ala.) challenged Bob Perciasepe, EPA’s deputy administrator, to name “just one state” that supported the rule and questioned if any states were consulted. Perciasepe said the agency did consult states but was unable to say which ones. He also said EPA treats states as co-regulators, not as regular stakeholders.
Perspective: The administration clearly has a lot of work to do before finalizing its rule, with the biggest issue being a high level of distrust.
Follow Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory on Twitter: @ChipFlory
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