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April 22, 2014

Time to Ditch the Rule

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule was published in the Federal Register yesterday. If put into place, farming and ranching practices, and private land use, would be federally regulated, which Farm Bureau says is not what Congress intended. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyAmerican Farm Bureau is calling on its grassroots to bring attention to its concerns regarding the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and how it will negatively affect farmers and ranchers. Farm Bureau chief lobbyist Dale Moore says Farm Bureau wants members to get involved in its new “Ditch the Rule” grassroots campaign.
MooreWe want our grassroots members letting their members of Congress know this EPA rule violates the intention of Congress in the Clean Water Act. That we need Congress to stop EPA’s ability to move forward on a rule that we believe is just flat wrong.
OtterbyMoore says Farm Bureau is also asking members to contact their state and local officials. Farm Bureau believes EPA’s proposed rule is an end-run around congressional intent and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, that EPA doesn’t have regulatory power in this issue.
MooreIf this rule goes into place, those state officials and local officials will lose their ability to make decisions on local economic development, land use planning and other things that folks who are closest to it can make the best decision. It appears to be an effort to move all of that to Washington, D.C.
Otterby EPA says certain exemptions will protect farmers from the new rule, but Moore says they only apply to longstanding farms, not new farms.
MooreThese exemptions, they’ve been narrowed and made regulatory by the EPA guidance. This is just one more effort that the EPA, by saying that they’re providing certainty, they’ve provided certainty, and the certainty is this new rule dramatically expands their jurisdiction over not just the waters, but the lands of the U.S.
OtterbyThat’s why Farm Bureau says it’s time to ditch the rule. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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