Farm Bureau Hails Committee Action To Stop EPA Overreach

Taylor Hillman Water

Water drop from green leaf
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s passage of a bill to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule shows Congress is listening, even if the EPA won’t.

The controversial WOTUS rule gives federal agencies new powers to regulate many normal farming, ranching and business activities, making it the largest federal overreach in memory.

The Federal Water Quality Protection Act, S. 1140, would force EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to scrap its own, extreme interpretation of the Clean Water Act and return to the drawing board, this time to craft a new rule that would fall within the parameters of Congress’ intent. The EPA and Army Corps would be required to take into consideration the valid concerns of farmers, ranchers, homebuilders and others who would be affected by the new rule.

“Thousands of farmers, ranchers and landowners raised numerous concerns about the rule during the formal public comment period, but looking at the final rule, it’s clear no one at EPA was listening,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said. “Farmers and ranchers are committed to protecting the land and resources we use to raise the food, fuel and fiber we all consume. We’re grateful that congressional lawmakers are willing to step up to safeguard both farmers and their land.”

The measure would require a comment period on the revised proposed rule of no fewer than 120 days and a final rule published no later than Dec. 31, 2016.

“We thank Chairman Inhofe and all the other committee members who voted for this legislation,” Stallman said. “We also urge the Senate to pass this measure soon. The sooner Congress acts, the sooner the agencies can re-craft a rule that more accurately reflects the will of Congress and respects the concerns of all affected parties.”