Other Than Comments, Little Chance to Stop EPA Water Rule, NCBA's McDonald SaysWed, 14 May 2014 15:50:00 CDT
As the juggernaut that is the Waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency advances, Ashley McDonald, environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says it’s time for agricultural producers to stand up and be counted during the comment period.
McDonald has reviewed the EPA’s proposal to expand its jurisdiction to cover almost all water anywhere in the U.S. and she says there are a lot of problems ahead for farmers, but she encourages them to submit their comments to the EPA.
“That’s really the only hope that we have for getting a change to this rule,” McDonald says. “Ultimately, what we would like to see at NCBA, we would like to see them withdraw the rule. We think there are too many problems for them to individually fix every single one. Because, ultimately, what we think they’ve done here is to expand their jurisdiction to every wet spot in the country. We think that goes against Supreme Court rulings. We think that goes against common sense, frankly.”
McDonald says that despite her hopes to the contrary, pushing through this EPA rule seems to be a priority for the Obama administration. She says that the EPA has long wanted to expand their jurisdiction over every drop of the country’s water, but Congress voted down every attempt to grant the agency that power.
She says the faults with the proposed rule are too numerous to keep up with. It would regulate ditches and ponds, some as far as 20 miles from any moving source of water. McDonald says that the EPA’s philosophy seems to be that since everything is somehow connected, therefore the EPA should be allowed to regulate practically everything.
McDonald says that such a notion, “flies in the face of the law itself.”
Should the EPA promulgate the law, there is virtually no chance of stopping its implementation, McDonald says. Bills brought before Congress to clip the EPA’s wings have almost no chance of making it through the Senate and onto the President’s desk.
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