(Posted Thu. Sep 19th, 2013)
Sept 19: This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report that merged more than 1,000 peer-reviewed, scientific studies examining how smaller, isolated bodies of water are connected to larger ones. Using conclusions set by the draft report, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers submitted a draft rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. The National Corn Growers Association has previously discussed concerns over expanding EPA’s authority over isolated waters such as ditches and farm ponds.
“NCGA is currently reviewing the draft report to ensure it would not adversely affect production agriculture,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said. “Our members want to ensure that longstanding agricultural exemptions will be included in the final version and NCGA is working with the USDA and EPA on this issue.”
Over the years, NCGA has opposed removing the term navigable from the Clean Water Act through the legislative process. While the proposed rule is not an amendment to the CWA, there are concerns within the agriculture community that this administrative action is intended to expand the scope of federal authority in a similar way.
EPA is accepting public comment on the draft report through October 31. NCGA plans to submit comments prior to the deadline.