Rancher Fights Cattlemen's Corner on Water Definition03 June 2014
US – A Washington rancher has led cattle industry opposition against a legal definition of water that could cost farmers thousands of dollars every day.
Cattle rancher and Washington Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president Jack Field testified before the House of Representatives last week that the pending definition of ‘waters of the US’.
If passed, the definition expands to include all waters across the country, meaning landowners could pay fines up to $37,500 per day.
Cattlemen must be able to work without ‘excessive federal burdens’, he told the Small Business Committee.
He added that the decision to make the Natural Resources Convention Service a regulatory compliance agency will ‘chill’ landowner participation in conservation activities.
“This didn’t have to be the result,” said Mr Field. “All the agencies had to do was engage stakeholders early on in the process, incorporate our suggestions and we would be much farther along in crafting a rule that actually clarifies the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction."
"There was zero outreach to the agriculture community before the rule was proposed and before the interpretive rule went into effect. We are now left with a proposal that doesn’t work for small businesses, doesn’t work for cattle ranchers, and doesn’t work for the environment.”
NCBA strongly opposes EPA and the Corps’ definition and encourages producers and small business owners to submit comments to the EPA. The comment deadline is July 21, 2014.
TheCattleSite News Desk