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Beef Buzz News

Cattle Producers Voice their Concerns at WOTUS Roundtable

Thu, 09 Jun 2022 04:12:47 CDT

Cattle Producers Voice their Concerns at WOTUS Roundtable Senior Farm and Ranch Director, Ron Hays, visits with the Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Mary Thomas Hart. Hart talks about the roundtable that was hosted on June 6th by the Kansas Livestock Association where cattle producers voiced their concerns on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) proposed rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Hart said the roundtable hosted by the Kansas Livestock Association was a great opportunity for agriculture to step up to help guide the conversation on this issue.

"This was the fourth roundtable that EPA hosted, and they took a little different approach to these regional roundtables," Hart said. "In this scenario, EPA kind of flipped the script and asked for regulated stakeholders to submit a proposed roundtable for selection."

We were really excited, Hart said, that one of the roundtables chosen was hosted by the Kansas Livestock Association. In order to be chosen for a roundtable, you had to provide an array of viewpoints and opinions on the rule, she added, and the KLA did a good job of that.

The Kansas Livestock Association and the Arizona Farm Bureau hosted two of the roundtables for EPA, allowing agriculture to tell their story to their bureaucrats.

"This and last week's roundtable, hosted by the Arizona Farm Bureau, were both really good examples of getting farmers in front of EPA to talk about the features on their operation that maybe weren't subject to jurisdiction under the Trump rule, that would be subject to jurisdiction under a Biden Administration WOTUS definition," Hart said.

During the roundtable, EPA made it clear that the comments being made by those involved in the roundtable would not have a direct impact on the actual writing of a new rule by the Biden Administration.

"I think that is disappointing because the roundtables were actually announced before the comment period opened on the proposed Biden WOTUS definition," Hart said. "Now they tell us that these roundtables are not going to be really considered for determining what is in the final rule."

Not considering the roundtable discussion in the final rule, Hart said, takes away immediate impact, but as EPA considers how they are going to implement a new definition of WOTUS, understanding the specific and unique regional needs is going to be important.

The Biden Administration that listened to the stakeholders, continue to remain silent about the U.S. Supreme court considering a definition of WOTUS.

A couple of the stakeholders mentioned the Supreme Court issue with the Sackett v. EPA case and the fact that it will radically change anything the Biden Administration comes up with. In other words, they are going to have to play according to whatever the Supreme Court says later this year, or early into 2023, whenever they finally get around to issuing a new ruling on this Sackett Case.

"That is why NCBA is included in our comments, and we continue to reiterate that it is a waste of time for EPA to finalize another version of a WOTUS definition only for the Supreme Court to decide on the Sackett Case within the next year," Hart said.

Regardless of what we get from the Supreme Court, Hart said with the way the Biden WOTUS definition is written currently, there is a 99 percent chance they are going to have to change it in some way.

"So, it seems really redundant and a waste of valuable resources to go through a rule-making knowing that you are going to have to do another rule-making in probably just under a year," Hart said.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Mary Thomas Hart on the Biden Administration's plan to redefine 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.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Mary Thomas Hart on WOTUS Roundtable
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