NCBA Shows Scope of WOTUS RuleWed, 13 Aug 2014 11:38:51 CDT
The battle over the 'Waters of the US' continues. WOTUS is a proposed regulatory rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers that is currently open for public comment through Federal Register. This proposal is being pushed back from a lot of agricultural groups including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and American Farm Bureau Federation and they have been instrumental in coming up with a campaign called "Ditch The Rule"
NCBA Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald said there is a new tool in the effort to battle the WOTUS proposal.
"We partnered with other ag groups here in town to develop some maps where we think really highlight the extent of EPA's proposed regulation and exactly how far it goes and how much acres it covers and how many stream miles it really covers," McDonald said. "Now these maps they are really impressive, they show different states and exactly show the difference between stream mileage when you add in those ephemeral streams, which are those ditches and smaller waterways that only hold water during a rainfall event."
"When you add those in, you can have states that increase their regulated stream mileage by 100 thousand miles, so that clearly shows you where EPA intends to go with this regulation and from looking at the states you can tell that there is virtually going to be no land area that isn't within a hop, skip and jump from a regulated 'Water of the US', which means land activities are going to be highly regulated, more so than they have ever been before," she said.
These maps are excellent way to show local, state and federal officials exactly how the pervasive WOTUS proposed rule may be when it comes to US agriculture and rural landowners.
"We can use these maps I think they show everyone, not only landowners, not only Congressman and Senators, but everyone the extent that EPA is going to," McDonald said. "You can see a lot of cities and towns in there that are going to be hit by this regulation just as hard because of all of the structures they have in place to take away storm water and other features."
"This will definitely be a tool that we will utilize on Capital Hill and that will highlight the extent of EPA's proposed regulation," she said.
The hope of NCBA, AFBF and other groups in agriculture that are opposed to the WOTUS proposed rule is to generate enough outrage in the country, to get those comments flowing in, to get members of Congress up in arms and shouting at EPA over this proposal, hoping to get EPA to pull back and withdraw the rule.
The public comment period will close on Monday, October 20, 2014.
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