Beef Buzz News
‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposal Likely to Spur LitigationThu, 15 May 2014 16:36:04 CDT
The National Cattlemens Beef Association is very worried about 'clean waters of the US proposal' from Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. NCBA Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald says this proposal would expand the government's authority to regulate all waters in the country, regardless of size or continuity of flow. She says that is not the intent of the 1972 law, the Clean Water Act originally passed by Congress.
Through the public comment period there is potential for a large number of comments to be submitted and it seems unlikely that the EPA will withdrawal the rule. If the rule takes effect, litigation becomes likely.
"No question, I think ultimately there will be litigation, probably on both sides of the issue even, challenging whatever comes out in final form, " McDonald said. "That is something we're always preparing for and thinking about".
"If it comes to that, hopefully it doesn't, McDonald said. "Hopefully this administration does realize what a terrible idea this proposal is and will decide to ultimately pull it back, start over, have some outreach with the agricultural community from the beginning, so we can get more clarity, which is the reason they want this proposal out in the first place, but that is not what this proposal does".
With an election year, there are few opportunities for Congress to act.
"You know you guess it, an election year it’s going to be hard to get anything," McDonald said. "I think this will be an big election issue, actually.
"I think this will come up in a lot of these key Senate races in particular," McDonald said. "So I think it could ultimately decide some elections, but do I think anything will move in Congress perhaps something could move in the House, but I don't see anything moving in the Senate, unless it happens to be in Appropriations language".
One way ranchers can slow this down is by offering public comment to the EPA.
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