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Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding the Clean Water Restoration Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2007 – “New legislation introduced in the House that removes the term ‘navigable waters’ from the 1972 Clean Water Act greatly expands the scope of areas and activities covered by federal regulation. Placing many routine tasks necessary for food and fiber production at risk of Clean Water Act regulation would result in an extreme economic burden on farmers and ranchers.

“The authors of the 1972 Clean Water Act deliberately included ‘navigable waters’ in the legislation. Deleting the term from the law does not restore congressional intent; it changes and expands it.

“The original intent of Congress was to broadly regulate pollution without federal oversight of every isolated wet spot in the nation. If this bill becomes law, it would be the most far-reaching expansion of the Clean Water Act in more than three decades and could extend federal jurisdiction to everything from ditches and gutters to groundwater.

“The Clean Water Act is one of our nation’s most comprehensive environmental laws. It properly grants jurisdiction over intrastate waters to local and state governments. Passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act will result in greater confusion, not clarity.”

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Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649
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