Ashley McDonald, Environmental Council for NCBA, talked about what is on everybody’s minds here at the 2014 Cattle Industry Summer Conference. Waters of the United States (WOTUS) has become a household phrase over the last couple of months and she highlighted NCBA’s efforts to eliminate the EPA’s term ‘navigable’ from the Clean Water Act.
“We are in the midst of the comment period and what seems like the midst of the EPA’s PR campaign to farmers and ranchers across the country. The comment period ends October 20 and so we are trying to get folks to understand the impacts of this rule and then take their story to the EPA. We have put together some maps looking at the before and after of this expanded jurisdiction. I can tell you just looking at the preliminary product it’s an amazing expansion of the Clean Water Act, contrary to what the agencies are out there saying.”
The Property Rights & Environmental Management/Federal Lands Policy Committee met during the event and the WOTUS panel brought in a packed house. The panel consisted of Joe Guild, cattle producer; Courtney Flezzani Briggs, Federal Legislative Director, Government Affairs for the National Association of Homebuilders; & Dr. Alan Foutz, District Representative for Congressman Cory Gardner.
Another issue on the committees agenda is the Endangered Species Act. Ashley hit on that topic in my interview with her. Looking towards the next year, she said greenhouse gases is something we will begin to here more on. She said the administration is still trying to push for more regulations.
“We just had a Supreme Court decision come out which largely upheld the EPA’s authority to implement those greenhouse gas regulations, but it did have a piece of good news for the livestock industry as a whole in that if your not regulated already for criteria pollutants under the Clean Air Act they can’t force you to get a permit simply because of your greenhouse gas emission.”
Listen to my interview with Ashley here: Interview with Ashley McDonald, Environmental Council, NCBA
View and download photos from the event here: Cattle Industry Summer Conference Photo Album