NCBA Says WOTUS Battle Not OverTue, 23 Dec 2014 12:48:06 CST
It’s unlikely to slow down the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy very much, but Congress did take a shot or two at the ‘Waters of the US’ (WOTUS) proposed rule during the appropriations process earlier this month. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said Congress went specifically after the so called ‘interpretive rule’ of WOTUS that was issued last summer by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
“This is basically where they laid out how farmers and ranchers can utilize NRCS procedures and processes in order to try to exempt themselves from the ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal," Woodall said. "We never thought it was strong enough. We thought there were way too many loop holes that could be used against cattle producers and most people including our friends on Capitol Hill felt it was a kind of a disingenuous way by EPA to try to make us happy in the agriculture world. So we worked very hard to remove that particular rule and the language in the omnibus does that. It requires both EPA and the Corps of Engineers to rescind that rule and get rid of it."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Woodall on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
This does not completely get kill the ‘WOTUS’ proposal, but it is a severe blow to EPA and will slow down the process. In looking at 2015 and the new Congress, this will be a top priority. US Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma takes over as Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Woodall said Senator Inhofe has said he aims to fix the rule, as he does not want this rule to move forward.
EPA Administrator McCarthy has said she will be moving forward on the rule. Woodall said by stopping the 'interpretive rule' that has exposed the true agenda of the proposal.
“We finally gotten through her smoke screen,” Woodall said. “That interpretive rule, we always felt was just a smoke screen. Just trying to fool us so we wouldn't’ focus on the underlying rule, which we still as we read it, believe allows EPA and the Corps of Engineers to come on farms and ranches and dictate production practices and dictate how you utilize that land.”
The WOTUS proposal did get a lot of attention from the countryside. Woodall has heard there were close to a million comments submitted on the WOTUS proposal through the Federal Register. That will take some time for the EPA to go through those comments. Woodall said that will buy some time until Congress can stop this proposal permanently through legislation.
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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