Friday, November 13, 2015

Legislation is the only way to ensure EPA addresses flaws in WOTUS, Farm Bureau says

Washington-No amount of clearer and concise implementation guidance can address the flaws in the final Waters of the U.S. rule, the American Farm Bureau and 54 other organizations wrote to 11 senators who sent a letter to EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers asking the agencies for direction in implementing the rule. 

The senators who received Farm Bureau's letter are: Angus King Jr. (I-Maine); Bill Nelson (D-Florida); Tim Kaine (D-Virginia); Mark Warner (D-Virginia); Dianne Feinstein (D-California); Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii); Chris Coons (D-Delaware); Tom Carper (D-Delaware); John Tester (D-Montana); Michael Bennet (D-Colorado); and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota).           
The senators' letter to the agencies was transmitted the same day the lawmakers voted against advancing to debate on the Farm Bureau-supported Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140). The bill would force EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to scrap its own, extreme interpretation of the Clean Water Act and craft a new rule that would fall within the parameters of Congress' intent. The EPA and Army Corps would be required to take into consideration the valid concerns of farmers, ranchers, home builders and others who would be affected by the new rule.

"While we agree that EPA and the Corps 'can and must do better to address the legitimate issues that have been raised in regards to the implementation of this rule,' as your correspondence states, the best way to ensure that EPA and the Corps address the fundamental flaws in the WOTUS rulemaking is by enacting and requiring the agencies comply with S. 1140," wrote Farm Bureau and the other groups representing a broad section of the construction, real estate, manufacturing, energy and other sectors.
The organizations noted that they've made the senators well aware that "EPA and the Corps have proven unwilling to address the concerns you raise and that we share. We do not believe that EPA's final rule can be fixed without further legitimate and transparent rulemaking process."

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