Smith: Farmers and ranchers have until September 27 to submit comments in support of EPA ditching the 2015 WOTUS rule. The rule, which was halted by the courts, had more to do with controlling land than protecting water and only created confusion for farmers, according to AFBF senior director of regulatory relations Don Parrish.
Parrish: Those laws in those regulations were so broad, in fact, that it allowed the agency to blur the distinction between regulating water and land use, or in other words, allowed the agency to regulate land use by just claiming the land was water, so it was really problematic for farmers and ranchers.
Smith: Parrish says farmers and ranchers have been calling on EPA to ditch the flawed WOTUS rule since it was proposed and that their input is just as important today as environmental groups launch their own campaigns to protect this federal land grab.
Parrish: It is equally important to have our voices heard. This rule had a detrimental impact on the farmer’s ability to utilize his land and we think it is critical that farmers submit comments in support of withdrawing this rule.
Smith: Parrish says it’s easy for farmers and ranchers to submit their comments to the EPA directly or through AFBF’s website, fb dot org.
Parrish: Well, we’d really like you to go out to the American Farm Bureau’s website. We have an opportunity for you to submit comments through our website, or you can go to the EPA’s website. They’re soliciting comments. It doesn’t have to be very detailed comments, but just add your name to a list of growing farmers and ranchers that understand that this rule was a significant overreach, did not comply with the statutory requirements that Congress put into place, and supported the administration’s effort to withdraw this rule.
Smith: Farmers and ranchers can submit their comments through the Advocacy section of AFBF’s website, fb dot org before EPA’s comment period closes on September 27. Chad Smith, Washington.