Cattle producers in Georgia were able to get a Washington legislative update this week as National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, was in the Southeast speaking at the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association Convention in Savannah. He talked about various issues of importance to those in the cattle industry, including the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Southeast AgNet’s Randall Weiseman asked him where things currently stood with the EPA looking at revamping that rule.
Back in January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) issued their report on the WOTUS rule.
Their recommendations include:
- Ensuring EPA compliance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent limiting federal jurisdiction over bodies of water.
- Developing a clear definition of WOTUS that is easily interpreted by farmers and ranchers.
- Protecting WOTUS exemptions for common agricultural features, including farm ditches, stock ponds, prairie potholes, prior converted cropland, and other small, isolated water features.
- Reconsidering the EPA roundtable process to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to voice concerns on WOTUS rulemaking.
The NCBA supports those recommendations and is encouraging the EPA to adopt the FRRCC recommendations.