EPA Seeks Endless Control with 'Waters of the US Rule' Says Jack FieldWed, 04 Jun 2014 12:24:23 CDT
Jack Field, Washington cattleman and Executive Vice President of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association says it doesn't matter where cattlemen raise their cattle or hang their hat, all cattlemen should be concerned over the proposed Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. He says it will have a profoundly negative impact on producers anywhere in the United States.
"We're extremely concerned that this proposal will dramatically narrow the exemption for normal agricultural, ranching and civic cultural activities and also create a de facto best management practice list which would be interpreted as an 'ag practices act' by taking what are currently voluntary incentive based activities established by the Natural Resource Conservation District and creating those as a requirement that must be adhered to strictly as by letter of the practice," Field said.
"The concern that we have is that if a producers don't have a NRCS practice implemented that is listed on the prescriptive list of 56, then they would be required to obtain a 404-Permit," Field said. "I don't think any rancher has ever thought or would ever assume there would be a need a permit for grazing cattle on a riparian area or for installing a fence."
"The idea that would we would have to have this level of regulation is dumfounding," Field said. "Its going to absolutely nothing to enhance water quality, rather than in my opinion I think chill producers on volunteer based incentive based conservation."
Field says in visiting with NRCS representatives they are very worried about the EPA using their voluntary practices as a club over the head of cattle producers.
"They're extremely concerned," Field said. "They want to be sure that they can continue to maintain the existing nonregulatory, voluntarily incentive based relationship that they have with producers and landowners."
According to Field this is a massive land grab by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are looking at the 'Waters of the US' proposal.
"The problem with the rule is it gives EPA the ability to interpret what they deem to be navigable water, if they can show connectivity," Field said. "A femoral stream that drains into a stream, that drains into a navigable stream could be shown to have connectivity."
" To me by reading this once the drop falls out of the sky, EPA has every intention of regulating it," Field said.
Field's comments were complimentary of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Beltway Beef Audio News
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.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News