Agriculture’s “Ditch the Rule” campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was highlighted at the Missouri State Fair this week.
Three members of Missouri’s congressional delegation held a press conference at the fair, organized by the the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rep. Vicky Hartzler and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, who each discussed their concerns with the rule and why it should be ditched.
“Even if the EPA was well motivated here, this is more than they can ever do,” said Blunt. “They can’t regulate every ditch where water runs down the side of the road.
Luetkemeyer says the crux of the rule is the word hydrological. “The way this rule reads, as soon as one drop of water falls from the sky, EPA’s on it, and that’s a scary thought,” he said.
“I call it the ‘mother, may I?” rule,” said Hartzler. “If this goes through, we’re going to have to go to Big Government and ask “Mother, may I?” to plant a crop, protect our crops, to build a terrace or build a pond.”
Also speaking at the fair was NCBA Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald who said states could be facing upwards of 100,000 added regulated stream miles as a result of the rule and showcased new interactive maps that illustrate how the proposal will impact property owners throughout the country.
“The maps highlight just how far the proposed rule would expand federal jurisdiction over waters across the country,” said McDonald. “In Missouri alone, nearly 80,000 additional stream miles will be under the regulatory authority of EPA and the Corps. Logic and commonsense tells us that the surrounding land will also be regulated more than ever before. This rule just continues this administration’s regulatory rampage and enough is enough. Farmers and ranchers are not confused and are well aware of this administration’s blatant attempt to control every drop of water and every piece of private land in this country.”
Listen to comments from all of the above, as well as Missouri Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst, who opened the conference.Missouri State Fair WOTUS conference
Thanks to Brownfield Ag News for providing the audio from the fair.