NCBA blasts EPA’s water rule

The EPA has issued its much-anticipated “waters of the U.S.” rule.  And at least one farm group is not happy.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) calls the EPA proposal to put more small streams, waterways and wetlands under Clean Water Act protection “a vast overreach”.  NCBA president Bob McCan says that, under the proposed rule, essentially all waters in the country would be subject to regulation by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers, regardless of size or continuity of flow. 

“This is a step too far, even by an agency and an administration notorious for over-regulation,” says McCan. “This proposal by EPA and the Corps would require cattlemen like me to obtain costly and burdensome permits to take care of everyday chores like moving cattle across a wet pasture or cleaning out a dugout. These permits will stifle economic growth and inhibit future prosperity without a corresponding environmental benefit.”

McCan says that, for the first time, ditches are included in the definition of a “tributary” and now will come under federal jurisdiction. Activities near a jurisdictional ditch will now require a federal permit.

“This proposed regulation and the burdensome federal permitting scheme will only hinder producers’ ability to undertake necessary tasks and, in turn, result in an exodus of ranchers from the field,” he says.

The proposal will be open for public comment for 90 days.

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