NCBA Finds Growing Disapproval of WOTUS, But Fight Isn't OverWed, 17 Sep 2014 11:36:04 CDT
The comment for the 'Waters of the US' proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers will be open for one more month til the 20th of October. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association continues to let EPA know that they need to ditch the rule. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said efforts to fight the rule made two significant strides this past week.
"The passage by the House of Representatives of HR5088, where they went in and basically said to EPA you are going to stop this process and go back to the drawing board," Woodall said. "That passed overwhelmingly on the House side. We received all of the Republicans who voted yes and we had 35 democrats who voted yes. So that was a strong bipartisan signal to EPA that they have kind of gotten this wrong."
Over the weekend the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the head of the all of the state departments of agriculture also came out and took a position against the WOTUS rule.
"So it just continues to help show there is not a lot of support in the countryside for what EPA is doing and politically that continues to turn the heat up on them," Woodall said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays interviewed Woodall about the status of the rule. You can listen to their full conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
EPA Administration Gina McCarthy and several of those below her within the agency working on the WOTUS rule that they are willing to make changes, take suggestions and make it where agriculture is not harmed Many agricultural groups like NCBA remain very skeptical of these comments made by EPA. Woodall said there is only one solution.
"The rule just needs to go away," Woodall said. "We don't think there is anything that they can do to change this rule in its current form that would make it acceptable to us or any of the other groups that have been working this. They need to resend this rule, go back to the drawing board and in fact if they want to try to take this approach is to start all over and go back and the first they should do is sit down with all of the stakeholder groups and talk about their intentions, what they want to accomplish and make sure we are all working together to have a rule that rule that works for EPA but for all of us on the regulated end of this discussion. That's where we are trying to get to. Any sort of tweeking of this current rule, we just don't think is going to be enough to made sure its palatable for those of us who utilize the land every day."
The comment period continues through October 20th. Woodall continues to encourage beef producers and anyone involved in agriculture to submit their comments.
"If you have not commented on this yet make it happen," he said. "Go to our website or EPA's website, submit your comments and make it very clear that the 'Waters of the United States proposal' is not something that those of us in agriculture are going to sit back and accept."
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