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CCFB News» May 2019

Farm Bureau Provides Comments on Proposed Clean Water Rules

05/06/2019 @ 7:20 am

Cook County Farm Bureau sent the following comments to the Federal Registrar regarding the proposed Clean Water rules:

 

To Whom it May Concern:

 

The proposed Clean Water rules offer common-sense regulations that protect and improve water quality on our nation’s farms and ranches.

 

In 2015, the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule had more to do with land than water.

  • It was a land-grab that created confusion and uncertainty for regulators and farmers, ranchers and others who depend on their ability to work the land.
  • It imposed enormous regulatory road blocks and costs for simply moving dirt in low spots on the landscape.
  • The rule’s definition of “tributary” was so broad that it even included landscape features invisible to the human eye. 

 

The rule was challenged in multiple courts by all sides (31 states and 53 non-state parties, including environmental groups, state and local governments, farmers, landowners, developers, businesses, and recreation groups).  Challengers raised numerous substantive and procedural defects in the rule, including that it imposed burdensome regulatory uncertainty.  The proposed Waters of the U.S. rule was withdrawn, and the proposed Clean Water rules replace it and offer much needed clarity and specificity.  Farmers should not have to hire teams of consultants and lawyers just to know if they can farm their own land.

 

The proposed clean water rule protects both the nation’s water bodies and farmers’ ability to produce food, fiber and fuel. This proposed rule would end years of uncertainty over where the jurisdiction of EPA and the Corps begins and ends. It offers a common-sense approach that protects water quality and gives Cook County farmers clear rules that they can follow.

 

Farmers have every incentive to leave their land, natural resources, and water in better shape for the next generation.  They want to preserve their land to pass it down to their children and future generations.  Many farms have been in the family for several generations.

 

As the county’s largest general farm organization, Cook County Farm Bureau® is dedicated to bridging the gap between farmers and urban consumers.  Through education programs targeting youth and their parents and programs designed to connect farmers with potential consumers, Farm Bureau members are actively engaging in conversations about food and the shared values between farmers and consumers.

 

Cook County Farm Bureau® appreciates your consideration of these comments.  If you have any questions or we can provide any assistance, please feel free to contact our Director of Governmental Affairs, Bona Heinsohn at 708-354-3276 or via email at bona@cookcfb.org.