A National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) leader says federal regulations on remote bodies of water will hurt farmers without providing any significant improvement to water quality.
This is what Andy Jobman, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team, told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday.
Jobman said, “The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must not assume that achieving desired water quality outcomes means that remote water features must be made waters of the U.S. The facts simply do not support this assumption as it applies to farms, conservation practices and farmland water management.”
NCGA is submitting recommendations individually as a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition in response to EPA’s notice soliciting pre-proposal feedback on defining WOTUS.
Jobman’s remarks were made during a public meeting hosted by the EPA to hear from stakeholders on their perspectives on defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, in light of the agency’s intention to revise the definition.
During the hearing, Jobman expressed support for the goals of the Clean Water Act to restore and protect the water quality integrity of jurisdictional waters.
“Corn farmers are committed to protecting this resource for the benefit of their crops, their communities and the planet,” he said. “We sincerely wish that we were not going through another WOTUS rulemaking where this artificially drawn ‘jurisdictional line’ in our watersheds will again be hotly debated and litigated. Instead, we want to focus on working together to support our water quality protection efforts on our farms.”
NCGA notes the definition of WOTUS is critically important to farmers, which is why they have has participated in numerous rulemakings and litigation on this issue over the years.