Georgia cattle producers were able to get a legislative update from Washington 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 spoke on a variety of issues important to players in the beef industry, including the US Waters Rule (WOTUS). Randall Weiseman of Southeast AgNet asked him how things stand with the EPA considering revamping this rule.
Last January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farms, Ranches and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) released its report on the WOTUS rule.
Their recommendations include:
- Ensure EPA compliance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent limiting federal jurisdiction over water bodies.
- Develop a clear definition of WOTUS that is easily interpreted by farmers and herders.
- Protect WOTUS exemptions for common agricultural features, including farm ditches, stock ponds, prairie potholes, previously converted cropland, and other small isolated water features.
- Reconsider the EPA roundtable process to ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to voice their concerns about the development of the WOTUS rules.
The NCBA supports these recommendations and encourages the EPA to adopt the FRRCC recommendations.