The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) wants some changes to the proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation. This news release from the group outlines what it wants the Environmental Protection Agency to do about the controversial proposal that could greatly expand the waterways subject to regulation under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).
NMPF, the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers in Washington, asked EPA to either include the organization’s recommendations in the proposed regulation, or withdraw the proposal and rewrite it.
In lengthy comments filed with the agency, NMPF stressed that, above all, agriculture needs certainty on which waterways fall under the jurisdiction of the CWA, and which do not. The draft regulation, it said, doesn’t provide that clarity.
NMPF asked EPA to clarify numerous terms in the draft, including “other waters,” “upland ditches,” ‘‘floodplain,’’ ‘‘tributary,’’ and ‘‘significant nexus.” In addition, it urged that any final regulation exclude from federal jurisdiction intermittent streams and wetlands adjacent to excluded streams. NMPF also asked EPA to publish maps clearly indicating the features that make a waterway covered under the CWA.
“Clean water is essential to milk production and the dairy industry is very willing to work with EPA to protect U.S. waters,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “But EPA’s draft would only lead to more confusion and uncertainty around which waterways fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. In addition, it would intrude on state responsibilities and do nothing to actually stop pollution.”
NMPF went on to say that not only does the proposal not help dairy farmers, but it also doesn’t meet the requirements of the Supreme Court rulings that triggered the need for the regulation.