Clements: Through a new campaign, Clean Water, Clear Rules, the American Farm Bureau Federation is helping farmers and ranchers ensure a new Clean Water Rule will provide clarity. At the 2019 AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, Farm Bureau members are pledging their support to submit comments on the new rule proposed last month. Don Parrish, AFBF senior director of regulatory relations, says the upcoming comment period provides farmers and ranchers the opportunity to tell the EPA what they need from a new rule.
Parrish: What’s important is to tell your story. We want farmers to be able to operate, to be able to plow their lands, to be able to use manure spreaders and pesticide sprayers and be able to switch from one crop to the other without having to go to the federal government to ask for permission.
Clements: Parrish says the new rule should provide the clarity farmers and ranchers need to continue farming without questioning what is regulated.
Parrish: More than anything else, the thing that we want them to be able to do, is to drive across their farm and know what is going to be regulated at the federal level. And the reason that’s so important, is because the penalties that are associated with violating the Clean Water Act are huge. So, clarity, some understanding of what is in, what is out, and then ultimately, putting a rule in place effect that stays true to what Congress passed.
Clements: He says the upcoming comment period is a critical step for farmers and ranchers in crafting the new Clean Water Rule.
Parrish: We’ve been at this almost ten years, and I think we’re now on a glidepath to really achieving a huge priority in Farm Bureau policy. It’s kind of like whether you’re playing football, or basketball, we have to finish. And part of that finishing is making sure that the federal government gets the rules right and the way they get them right is for us to comment on those rules. This administration is listening. They want a rule that is protective of the environment but provides clarity for farmers and ranchers.
Clements: Submit comments online at fb.org/advocacy. Micheal Clements, New Orleans.