Clements: The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to update definitions under the Clean Water Rule so farmers and ranchers can better understand them. Don Parrish, American Farm Bureau Federation senior director of regulatory relations, says the clarification by the EPA is a step toward common-sense regulation.
Parrish: This clarification hopefully brings a lot of common-sense to the definition of what is in the federal government’s ability to regulate. A common-sense definition we think will do two things, provide an opportunity for the nation to have clean water, but also provide clear rules that farmers need in order to operate their farms.
Clements: Parrish says the proposal is an improvement over the current rule.
Parrish: We want a farmer and rancher to be able to walk out on his property and understand where the Clean Water Act rule applies. In the last proposal it was so broad and so vague that only the federal government, or an army of lawyers and probably a legion of consultants could ultimately tell a farmer where on their farm the Clean Water Act had jurisdiction.
Clements: The comment period on the proposal closes April 15. Comments can be submitted online.
Parrish: Go to our website, fb.org. At the very top of that website you can click and you can submit comments to the federal government. Every comment counts. Making sure that federal government hears from farmers and ranchers, hears what our concerns are, is critically important.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.