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Monday, September 15, 2014

Send Comments to EPA on WOTUS before October 20

Dear Kentucky corn growers,

As grain prices continue to trend downward, it is more important than ever to ask the EPA to provide clarity on their proposed definition of "Waters of the U.S." We simply cannot afford this regulatory uncertainty that drives up costs.

To begin to understand how far this proposed rule would extend, take a look at the map below. There won't be a farmer in Kentucky who isn't impacted. It's time to let EPA know just how seriously we are taking this regulatory overreach.

Agriculture has been and will continue to be EPA's best ally in responsible care for our environment. The proposal they have laid out fails to recognize that and creates a negative dynamic. It's time for EPA to stop talking about working with us and actually prove that's what they want to happen.

Producers must speak up. Use the NCGA's suggested letter or write your own. And while you are at it, let your congressman and senators know your concerns as well.

The House of Representatives have already passed legislation to stop implementation of the proposed rule. EPA needs to recognize that they must take a different approach. Working together does not mean regulating everything and saying, "don't worry, many ag practices will be exempt." We aren't buying it, and the lawsuits will fly over such ambiguous language.

Laura Knoth
Executive Director




Click here for a larger image.


The House Science Committee released maps that depict tributaries and wetlands across the country on a national and state scale. According to EPA the maps depict stream flow patterns by watershed and can be used to analyze the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). However, we are concerned that the maps represent the scope of federal jurisdiction being claimed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the proposed rulemaking defining WOTUS.

The EPA and the Corps are defining for the first time in the proposed WOTUS rule three key terms: "tributaries", "adjacent waters" and "other waters" subject to federal jurisdiction. By not having defined tributaries, adjacent waters, and other waters in previous rules it has never before been possible to understand what exactly is meant when the agencies state that these features were subject to the CWA. Also, never before have the agencies declared that ditches were subject to the CWA. The proposed rule says that ditches are a type of tributary and are therefore also subject to federal jurisdiction, with some minor exclusions.

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