The EPA’s controversial Clean Water rule, formerly known as Waters of the U.S., has been causing headaches for farmers and ranchers across the country wondering how they will be affected.
But, according to Ron Carlton, EPA’s newly named agriculture counselor, the ag community has nothing to worry about with the new rule.
He said that due to the rule’s exclusions and exemptions for agriculture, many producers would not have been affected in the ways they might have feared.
“We heard a lot from agriculture,” he told AgriTalk’s Mike Adams. “I did sit in on meetings and EPA Administrator McCarthy was very adamant about trying to address concerns brought up by agriculture.”
Listen to EPA Agriculture Counselor Ron Carlton’s full comments on AgriTalk here:
In the conversation with Adams, Carlton said that some of the changes in the final rule are the direct result of worries and issues expressed by the ag community.
“On a day to day basis, most of our farmers and ranchers would have seen very little impact from any of this because of the exclusions and exemptions,” he said. “The reality is most of our producers would have kept doing what they are doing without getting permits.”
Uncertainty remains a problem with the Clean Water rule. In October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered EPA to stop implementing the rule until the courts sort out the numerous lawsuits filed against EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Despite the current turmoil between the two groups, Carlton sounded optimistic about future interactions. “I look at it as opportunities between EPA and agriculture,” he said.