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Agricultural News

Congressman Mullin Encourages Public Comments on Proposed EPA Rule

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 17:06:18 CDT

Congressman Mullin Encourages Public Comments on Proposed EPA Rule

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) is encouraging the public to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Waters of the United States" Clean Water Act rule. The newly proposed rule would redefine navigable waters underneath the Clean Water Act (CWA), potentially changing the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' ability to regulate certain business practices including agriculture.

Before any new federal rule or regulation is finalized, a public comment period is made available for citizens to submit comments or opinions. The public comment period for this proposed rule ends on October 20, 2014.

"Oklahomans need to be vocal on this new regulatory reach by the EPA, especially our state's farmers and ranchers," said Mullin. "This unprecedented power grab attempt could have profound effects on rural America, meaning a large portion of Oklahoma. We need to come together and make sure that our voice is heard. The public comment period is a great opportunity to do that.

"Those in the Ag community need to give special notice to the CWA section 404 permitting as it relates to the definition of navigable waters. If the EPA redefines navigable waters to include all tributaries, they could have regulatory power over everything from creeks to ditches. So if you're a farmer or rancher with a ditch running through your property, you may be required to apply for a permit to work on your land, even if your operational practices haven't changed for years."

Mullin added that other industries could be equally affected.

"Any business, construction company, or manufacture that operates near a tributary would be under the same regulatory scrutiny as farmers and rancher," said Mullin. "As a small business owner, I know how these types of regulations can limit production and growth. Ultimately, the economic success of our local communities could be drastically reduced."

"Above all else, it's important that Oklahomans get involved. We've passed legislation in the House to fight against this overreach, but public involvement is just as important. That's why we want to make sure everyone knows how to submit comments," ended Mullin.

Mullin also encourages constituents with questions about the rule or how to submit comments to contact either the Muskogee office at (918) 687-2533 or the Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2701. Information is also available at www.mullin.house.gov

Mailing address for public comments:

Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460
Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880

Email: ow-docket@epa.gov

Click Here for more information on the comment period.



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