If EPA Gets Their Way- Your Ditches Will Be Declared Waterways- Ashley McDonald of NCBAThu, 27 Mar 2014 20:39:49 CDT
Earlier this week, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers offered the definition they have been developing for quite some time about what the Clean Water Act means when it says "the waters of the United States."
In today's Beef Buzz, Ashley McDonald, NCBA environmental counsel, discusses this proposed rule by the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers to expand Clean Water Act jurisdiction and the potential impacts to cattlemen and women.
According to a statement released earlier this week, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is deeply concerned by this vast overreach by the EPA and the administration. Under this expansion, essentially all waters in the country would be subject to regulation by the EPA and the Corps, regardless of size or continuity of flow.
"This is a step too far, even by an agency and an administration notorious for over-regulation," said NCBA President Bob McCan, Victoria, Texas cattleman. "This proposal by EPA and the Corps would require cattlemen like me to obtain costly and burdensome permits to take care of everyday chores like moving cattle across a wet pasture or cleaning out a dugout. These permits will stifle economic growth and inhibit future prosperity without a corresponding environmental benefit. This proposed regulation and the burdensome federal permitting scheme will only hinder producers' ability to undertake necessary tasks and, in turn, result in an exodus of ranchers from the field."
Almost all activities on our open land will now touch a "water of the United States" under the expanded definition. For the first time, ditches are included in the definition of a "tributary" and now will come under federal jurisdiction. Activities near a jurisdictional ditch will now require a federal permit. Many cattle operations will be required to get Sec. 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, Sec. 404 Dredge and Fill permits or Sec. 311 Spill Prevention Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) spill plans.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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