Gebhart Says WOTUS Gives EPA Authority to Regulate All LandsWed, 24 Sep 2014 17:38:28 CDT
More than once agriculture has heard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials claim the 'Waters of the US' (WOTUS) proposal is not a land grab and it is not EPA's intention to regulate more lands than they currently have under their jurisdiction. Richard Gebhart is President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and the current Treasurer of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Besides being a cow/calf operator in northeast Oklahoma, Gebhart is also an attorney. He has read this rule many times and finds it to be a huge land grab, you just have to read it.
"I can not believe how shocked I am by the overreach of this rule," Gebhart said. "EPA consistency tells us in our conversations with them that is not their intent to regulate all lands, but when I read this rule I see it gives them the authority to regulate all lands."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays interviewed Gebhart on the impact of WOTUS. You can listen to the feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
In reading the rule, Gebhart remembered when he served as an infantry officer in the Army and they trained him to identify five types of land that include depression, hilltop, valley, ridgeline or on a saddle. He said all of those types of land except for a depression drain water and are within the reach of this rule.
"Cause no matter where they drain, they are going to drain into something that's going to drain into something else," Gebhart said. "If you are in between the two mountain ranges get to the Mississippi (River), except for exceptions in the north part of the United States, all of them get to the Gulf of Mexico."
Gebhart said the term "something" comes from long conversations with EPA officials and attorneys in discussing what will be regulated by WOTUS. He said they have discussed the difference between gullies, draws and and valleys.
"That's how ridiculous this rule is written," Gebhart said.
Gebhart said the overreach and intrusion of this rule into your daily agricultural lives from EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers is breath taking. He said it's time for ag producers to make a comment about this proposal. The comment period is open til the 20th of October.
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.
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