Scott Yager Briefs Cattlemen on Latest Environmental Issues that Have Landed on NCBA's RadarThu, 21 Dec 2017 16:39:58 CST
Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Scott Yager recently spoke with cattle producers across the country via a year-end webinar to discuss some of the regulatory issues concerning cattlemen that have unfolded in Washington, DC during 2017. One of the highlights of Yager's report was the fact that the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule is on its way out the door.
"The 2015 WOTUS rule was terrible because it went way beyond federal jurisdiction and tried to really claim more waters and land features than had ever been jurisdictional before by the federal government," he said. "So, we have an opportunity now with Scott Pruitt's EPA to redefine those terms and put proper limitations on the Clean Water Act and the federal government's reach on that issue."
Yager notes that NCBA, in cooperation with its Environmental Working Group, has drafted its own language to replace the existing rule. They have also been involved in the litigation to suspend the current form of WOTUS. The Supreme Court has already heard the oral arguments from both sides of this issue and Yager believes an answer to their question - which at the moment is about which court has jurisdiction over the case, district or appellate - will be delivered in the coming weeks. In summary, Yager says WOTUS is on a good path now and producers have a lot to be happy about. As that process continues to unfurl, though, another has arisen. It seems a regulation known as CERCLA and EPCRA, or Superfund, has resurfaced again this year, which if enforced by the EPA, would mandate nearly 100,000 producers to begin reporting the air emissions of their cattle. Yager says the initial mandate deadline has been pushed back from May 2017 to late January 2018, giving just a few precious days left for NCBA to come up with a legislative solution to permanently block this action.
"This has been one that's kind of been sitting in the background over the year," Yager said. "It's bubbled back up to the surface this past April due to a DC Circuit Court decision that rendered an EPA exemption rule invalid. If we don't get help from Congress, a lot of people are going to have to start reporting that stuff."
Listen to Scott Yager of NCBA discuss the status of some of the more pressing environmental issues concerning cattlemen this year, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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