Congress Battling EPA to Finish Line Over 'WOTUS'Fri, 24 Apr 2015 05:39:32 CDT
The battle over the 'Waters of the U.S.' (WOTUS) proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers continues. The proposed rule went through a lengthy public comment period through the Federal Register. Agriculture fought back with the campaign to "Ditch the Rule". Now EPA is in the process of getting the final rule out the door. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President for Government Affairs, Colin Woodall, said 'WOTUS' continues to be a big deal for the cattle business and they are hopeful Congress will have a chance to weigh in on this end game.
"We had a great move last week by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that passed out legislation that basically would tell EPA to rescind this proposed rule and start over from scratch and more importantly start over by bringing in the stakeholders that are going to be impacted by this rule," Woodall said. "So that is a good start, but right now it's a race to see who can finish this process first, whether it's EPA or Congress."
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.
A revised version of the 'WOTUS' proposal has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sent the rule to OMB for their analysis for possible publishing for the general public.
"We don't know what those revisions are, we don't know how they are going to impact or address our concerns, but we do know that OMB is looking at it and I think she (McCarthy) did that knowing Congress was going to start taking some pretty swift action," Woodall said.
When the final 'WOTUS' Rule is approved by OMB, McCarthy has earlier indicated there will be no additional comment period as it would be the final rule. Woodall said unfortunately that means those who disagree with her rewrite of the proposal will have to fight EPA after it has gone into effect.
"Because really it's no skin off her back at that point and time," Woodall said. "Because if this does go forward, it would go forward as a final rule, so there would be no comment period and we would have to fight it out in the courts. I think that's something she is calculating as she is looking at the last year and half here of the Obama Administration and just seeing what she can do to get out from under this 'WOTUS' proposal. But unfortunately it leaves all of us in industry holding the bag."
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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