EPA Budget Cuts Won’t Ease Mandates

Taylor Hillman Environment, Water

Delta Smelt
Many Californians looked at the recent EPA budget cuts announcement as positive news regarding current regulation. Agriculture leaders say those cuts probably aren’t going to ease constraints, however.

Last month the Trump administration announced it’s budget for the coming fiscal year, which included a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Western Agricultural Processors Association President and CEO Roger Isom talked to AgNet West about the Clean Air Act and said the EPA cuts aren’t going to do much for regulations California is facing now. “No. What needs to happen at the federal level is not so much the cuts to the agencies, not saying that it shouldn’t, but that’s not going to help our issues,” he said. “The state has been charged with implementing mandates. They have their staff and their mandates. We need fundamental changes to the regulations, much like they did with the Waters of the U.S. rule.”

Isom said several acts that are impacting California agriculture need reviewing. “We need changes to the Endangered Species Act so we can address the Delta. We need changes to the federal Clean Air Act to address these levels that they are forcing us to try and meet,” he said. “I am not saying to wholesale eliminate them. But make it to where it’s reasonable, and it makes sense. Right now we are nowhere near that.”

Listen to Isom’s full interview.