(TOPEKA) – The Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) has stepped up its request that Congress and other elected officials do everything in their power to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed waters of the U.S. rule. This appeal on behalf of farmers and ranchers came after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s July 10 presentation to the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.
"It is clear after the remarks from the administrator that EPA has no intention of working with agricultural stakeholders to reform this deeply flawed proposal," said KLA Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs Aaron Popelka.
He said McCarthy misrepresented the content of the proposed rule defining waters of the U.S. under the Clean Water Act. During her speech, she said the proposed rule would not regulate groundwater, land use or new types of ditches. However, legal analysis by national and state ag organizations, including KLA, suggests the proposal would greatly expand federal jurisdiction. The plain text of the proposed rule, according to Popelka, would include groundwater, ponds, ditches and, in some cases, dry land under EPA’s jurisdiction.
Popelka said instead of acknowledging the specific concerns agriculture stakeholders raised with McCarthy during a July 9 meeting in Columbia, MO, she claimed farm and ranch organizations misunderstood EPA’s intent or have misread the rule. McCarthy also inaccurately suggested major ag organizations asked for the proposed rule.
"Nothing could be further from the truth and we call on the administrator to stop propagating these false statements," said Popelka.
KLA is a member of the Kansas Agricultural Alliance (KAA), which previously called on the state’s congressional delegation, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to join forces against the EPA proposal. The rule would place additional burdens on farmers, ranchers and rural businesses. If approved, permits would be required for routine farming activities like grazing, prescribed burning and the application of commercial fertilizer.
KLA is a trade organization representing the state’s livestock business on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members.