NFU encouraged by EPA proposed rule

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) is encouraged by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release on Sept. 17 of a peer-reviewed study entitled Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, revealing findings on the state of American waterways.

“We are pleased by the EPA’s announcement today, noting that agricultural activities named in the Clean Water Act remain exempt from jurisdiction or permitting,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “NFU also supports the EPA deferring to state laws to regulate bodies of water that are fully contained within a state and are not suitable for transportation.”

According to EPA, the proposed rule is limited to clarifying current uncertainty concerning the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act that has arisen as an outgrowth of recent Supreme Court decisions; it does not propose changes to existing regulatory exemptions and exclusions, including those that apply to the agricultural sector that ensure the continuing production of food, fiber and fuel to the benefit of all Americans.

“We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that agriculture is properly exempted from overregulation. We appreciate EPA Administrator McCarthy’s efforts in working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and agricultural organizations to ensure that U.S. family farmers and ranchers are not negatively impacted by this proposed rule.”