On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over nearly all areas with any hydrologic connection to downstream navigable waters, including man-made conveyances such as ditches and areas of agricultural land that are wet only during storms.
Contrary to EPA’s claims, this would directly contradict prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which imposed limits on the extent of federal CWA authority. Although EPA has maintained that the rule is narrow and clarifies CWA jurisdiction, it in fact aggressively expands federal authority under the CWA while bypassing Congress.
AFBF President Bob Stallman said, “Congress and the courts have both said that the 50 states, not EPA, have power to decide how farming and other land uses should be restricted. It’s time to ditch this rule.”
If carried out, the American Farm Bureau says ordinary field work, fence construction or even planting could require a federal permit. The result will be a wave of new regulation or outright prohibitions on routine farming practices and other land uses.
“Congress, not federal agencies, write the laws of the land,” Stallman said. “When Congress wrote the Clean Water Act, it clearly intended for the law to apply to navigable waters. Is a small ditch navigable? Is a stock pond navigable? We really don’t think so, and Farm Bureau members are going to be sending that message.”
Please click this link where you can find additional information and e-mail comments to EPA opposing the proposed rules.
We need your help to stop EPA from regulating your land and water!!