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  • Farmer: New clean water rule is a big win for farmers and for everyone else

    Farmer: New clean water rule is a big win for farmers and for everyone else

    “I’m sure that many missed the important news, but, last week, amid the impeachment trial, a water management policy reform was announced that will bring a huge positive impact for farmers like me,” writes Jamie Tiralla, a co-owner of Monnett Farms in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

    H/T: Washington Examiner

    In the Obama era, regulation was worse than legislation. The EPA's “Waters of the U.S.” rule was a prime example of a runaway regulator's ability to destroy people's livelihood with no need for a vote or any new law. Entrenched bureaucrats with their own agendas could suddenly decide that America's waterways, already regulated under the 1972 Clean Water Act, now included puddles on your property formed from the runoff of an afternoon storm.

    But, for the last four years, the agriculture industry has had to deal with a painful, overreaching federal water and land management policy. In 2015, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency implemented its Waters of the United States rule, which allowed federal agencies to regulate small land features across America that only sometimes contained water. These areas had been already successfully managed by local and state governments, but the Obama administration changed the rules to give the federal government control of all of them.

    Under the Waters of the U.S. rule, the EPA could take years to investigate us over a small rain ditch or pond on my farm. In the meantime, we wouldn’t be able to make changes to that area of the farm. In some cases, we might have been prevented from grazing animals nearby.

    Thankfully, the Trump administration has now replaced Obama-era overreach with a new common sense approach that puts local governments back in charge of water associated with rainfall, like puddles and runoff. The new “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” clarifies that under the Clean Water Act, the EPA can only regulate ACTUAL BODIES OF WATER like bays and lakes. Farmers rejoice!

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