Like other farm groups, the National Farmers Union wants more information about the bodies of water that be deemed to be the Waters of the United States under a new proposed EPA rule.In a letter Thursday to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson asked for more information.
A number of questions have been raised by NFU board members, Johnson said.
“The general sense was that the proposed rule has created less clarity, not more as intended,.” He said.
NFU asked EPA to provide a map with estimates of which bodies of water will be considered jurisdictional under the proposed regulation.
Questions were also posed about wetlands in the Prairie Pothole region, coordination with state agencies and the treatment of unconnected bodies of water that are seasonal.
Johnson acknowledged that it is not always possible for EPA to make definitive determinations for all bodies of water at this point, but stressed that more information must be made available to rural America to alleviate confusion and resentment.
Johnson also said that EPA’s reputation was damaged in farm country with the proposed reductions in the Renewable Fuel Standard, which likely led to a more negative reaction to the WOTUS proposed rule.
During a conference call earlier in the week, NFU thanked the EPA for listening to the concerns of farmers and ranchers and for its efforts to educate and clear up misinformation about WOTUS.
NFU is currently preparing formal comments about the proposed rule and hopes to have answers from EPA soon to ensure its comments are as informed as possible.