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August 26, 2014

New Maps Show Potential Impact of Proposed WOTUS Rule

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

 
New interactive maps planned for release in September from the American Farm Bureau Federation will show just how far beyond its jurisdiction EPA is trying to go with its Waters of the U.S. proposal. Micheal Clements has the story.
ClementsAmerican Farm Bureau’s Senior Director of Regulatory Relations, Don Parrish, says the interactive maps, expected to be available after Labor Day, will allow farmers in 15 states to see how their farms could potentially be affected by EPA’s proposed rule.
ParishFarm Bureau is working to have maps available so that farmers can have an interactive opportunity to drill down in these 15 states and maybe even find their farms, and to see the extent the U.S. Geological Survey has information with regard to everything from permanent streams to streams that may only flow as a result of a rainfall event.
ClementsParrish says these maps are similar to ones due out this week from the U.S. House Science Committee. He says the committee asked for those maps from the Environmental Protection Agency. Still, the Farm Bureau maps and the Committee’s maps might not tell nearly the whole story of EPA’s overreach.
ParishThe ones that the Farm Bureau is going to be releasing, we hope after Labor Day, is going to be very extensive. But one of the things I want members as they go onto these websites to take a look at these maps to remember: those maps, as extensive as they are, is not going to be representative of the regulatory footprint the EPA is proposing. I think by as much as a 70 percent increase, those maps could be significantly larger because EPA is proposing an extremely broad regulatory footprint.
ClementsOne of the biggest problems farmers and ranchers have with the rule is that EPA is wrongly trying to use the Clean Water Act to regulate land that is dry most of the year and miles from the nearest truly navigable water.
ParishWe think they’ve got to do a better job trying to explain to the public where they want to regulate because they are trying to regulate outside of what we would believe to be the aquatic ecosystem. And really it’s going to run headlong into conflicts with land use.
ClementsMicheal Clements, Washington

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