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Beef Buzz News


NCBA's Scott Yager Hopeful EPA Will Pay Attention to Its Own Advisory Committee on WOTUS

Wed, 19 Jan 2022 12:01:04 CST

NCBA's Scott Yager Hopeful EPA Will Pay Attention to Its Own Advisory Committee on WOTUS As the Biden-Harris administration pushes forward with their plans to redefine the definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in hopes of better protecting the nation’s water resources, a recommended definition revision was recently submitted by a federal advisory committee on the subject.

Scott Yager, the chief environmental counsel for the NCBA, told Ron Hays, senior reporter for the Oklahoma Farm Report, that the proposed WOTUS recommendations align closely with agricultural concerns.

“They put together some very specific and informative policy recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency administrator,” Yager said. “What I think is so interesting about that is that we have seen agriculture talk about WOTUS and the need for clarity and pulling back overreach, but I think this is the first time we have seen a federal advisory committee develop recommendations that align pretty closely with what we have been saying.

Some key points of the latest recommendations to EPA Administrator Regan are to stay true to Supreme Court decisions, create a rule that retains agricultural exclusions that have always been in the rule, make sure the rule is understandable and reexamine the roundtable process, according to Yager.

“EPA asked for everyone to submit proposals for them for roundtable meetings,” Yager said. “Then they flipped the script and told the stakeholders to organize all of it and (the EPA) would then select from those options where they wanted to go. It was a very convoluted process and confused a lot of stakeholders and put the burden on us.”

Although urging Regan to reexamine the roundtable process may sound off course, if done correctly it could streamline the problem-solving process in the future.

“All in all, those are things NCBA supports,” Yager said.

The revised definition of WOTUS is open for comments until Feb. 7. The NCBA has written a letter to EPA Administratior Regan, urging him to ensure that any definition of WOTUS provides necessary clarity for livestock producers and does not exceed the statutory limits of the Clean Water Act. You can sign that letter here.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Scott Yager as they talk about where the EPA is on redefining WOTUS.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

   
   

Listen to Ron's conversation with Scott here.
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