Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
    
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Cattle Industry Urges EPA to Withdraw Anti-Conservation Rule

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:56:09 CDT

Cattle Industry Urges EPA to Withdraw Anti-Conservation Rule


Today, Andy Fabin, cattle producer and farmer from Indiana, Penn., testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, Commerce and Forestry, regarding the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “interpretive rule” on the Normal Farming and Ranching exemptions under Sec. 404 of the Clean Water Act.


“As a farmer, my willingness to implement voluntary conservation practices has been greatly diminished, despite my desire to improve and protect the waters on my farm,” said Fabin, who raises cattle and farms 3,500 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and rye. “If the interpretive rule remains in place, farmers and ranchers across the country will slow their adoption of conservation practices.”


Coupled with the proposed rule expanding the jurisdictional reach of the EPA and the Corps under the Clean Water Act, the interpretive rule will increase liability for farmers and ranchers. For property owners like Fabin, the ephemeral streams, ponds and ditches found across their pastures would fall under the EPA and the Corps’ jurisdiction, and would require permits for any activities taking place on the land. While the agencies have exempted 56 farming and ranching practices, as long as they meet the specific Natural Resource Conservation Service standards, any deviation from these standards can result in fines of up to $37,500 per day.


“EPA, the Corps and now even the NRCS would have me believe that, despite the expanded definition, all the activities that take place on my farm are exempted,” said Fabin. “This is, at a minimum, a negligent mischaracterization, and more likely, an intentionally deceptive tactic being used to pacify the agricultural community. Not all agricultural activities are exempted under the Clean Water Act, and this proposal would expand the number of farming activities that need permits, requiring many farmers like myself to seek 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits or 404 Dredge and Fill permits.”


According to the EPA, the 56 exempted practices, including prescribed grazing, were chosen because they have the potential to discharge if they are done in a “water of the U.S.” This effectively makes grazing a discharge activity, and cattle producers will now be required to obtain a permit to graze unless they have a NRCS-approved grazing plan.


“NRCS was created to help farmers on a voluntary basis,” said Fabin. “but now, NRCS personnel are going to have to spend their entire time checking compliance of voluntary conservation activities instead of assisting farmers and ranchers in continuing to improve the waters around their properties. The model of voluntary conservation that has been the pinnacle of farmers and ranchers protection of our natural resources is going to be upended.”


Not only should the EPA and the Corps withdraw their overreaching definition of “waters of the U.S.,” but they should also immediately withdraw the interpretive rule because, ultimately, the only affect it will have is to decrease beneficial conservation activities.



   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • U.S. Corn And Soybean Crops Continue To Look Great According To The Latest USDA Crop Progress Report  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:45:50 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Monday July 6  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:10:46 CDT
  • USDA Improves Crop Insurance Policies with New Options  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:09:49 CDT
  • Monday, July 6, 2020 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:59:06 CDT
  • What Ag Groups are Saying about the RAMP-UP Act  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:27:49 CDT
  • Production Challenges, Economic Headwinds Slow Red Meat Exports in May  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:16:55 CDT
  • Oklahoma 4-H Foundation Receives $100,000 gift  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:26:49 CDT
  • Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Nominations Accepted Until Aug. 20  Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:20:49 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma City Farm Show KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment AFR Insurance Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!

    Banc First OPSRC ORWA TPAOO TPAOO

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com


       
       
    © 2008-2020 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.