Missouri Dairy and Pork Associations Back Effort to Block EPA Overreach on Clean Water Act


Missouri Dairy and Pork Associations Back Effort to Block EPA Overreach on Clean Water Act

Missouri Dairy AssociationThe Missouri Dairy Association (MDA) and the Missouri Pork Association (MPA) were among almost 80 companies and organizations that supported a bi-partisan letter from more than 200 members of the U.S. House of Representatives telling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to back off its plan to expand federal control under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Both agencies are seeking a rule change to give the federal government more authority by expanding the already overly broad definition of 'navigable waters' under the CWA.

Congressmen Chris Collins (R-NY) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) authored the letter to the EPA and USACE outlining strong concerns about the negative impact the proposed rule will have on farms all across the country. The letter attracted a total of 231 signatures from both Republicans and Democrats, representing more than half of the House.
Missouri Congressional members signing the letter included Sam Graves (District 6), Vicky Hartzler (District 4), Billy Long (District 7), Blaine Luetkemeyer (District 3), Jason Smith (District 8) and Ann Wagner (District 2).

The EPA and USACE proposed rule would redefine the scope of federal power under the CWA, giving the CWA jurisdiction over almost all physical areas with a connection to downstream navigable waters. This would put features such as ditches, natural or man-made ponds, flood plains, and prairie potholes, among others, under federal control. The Congressmen say the new rule would directly contradict prior U.S. Supreme Court decisions and is based on incomplete scientific and economic analyses.

House Committee on Small Business Chairman Graves said, "I have strong concerns about this regulatory overreach. Federal bureaucrats could interpret this rule to make controlling decisions about a ditch that collects a little rainwater, and that expands authority far beyond Congress's intent for the Clean Water Act. This rewrite of the rule has troubling implications for ordinary activities on private land, and could cause new costs, delays or permit problems for farmers, ranchers and small businesses. We should not open the door to the possibility of unprecedented bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of Americans."

"The fact that the EPA and USACE are now looking to formally broaden the definition of 'navigable waters' is an insult to hard working farmers in Missouri," says Larry Purdom, MDA President and a dairy farmer from Purdy, Missouri.

“We appreciate most of our delegation recognizing this and supporting Missouri farmers.”

“This is another example of government overreach that adds costs with little benefit,” said Bob North, chairman of the Missouri Pork Association. “One has to seriously question the need for these onerous and extensive new rules.”

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5.5.2014