The Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt suggest EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is trivializing farmers concerns about the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. proposed rule in the Clean Water Act. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Blunt said there were no silly questions about the EPA’s overreach. Blunt said, “Administrator McCarthy calls some of the questions about the rule ‘silly’ and ‘ludicrous’ and said that her trip to Missouri is part of her broader campaign to reassure the agriculture community and set the record straight. I hope she’s spending at least as much time in my state listening as she is talking.”
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said McCarthy called farmers “silly and ludicrous.” On the Missouri farm tour McCarthy took Wednesday, she told Brownfield “absolutely not”….and repeated what she was referring to by ‘silly’ and’ ludicrous,’ “Well, we’ve talked about these and I’ll talk about them again. People are concerned — I’ve even heard that we’re regulating the RAIN, okay? That’s what I mean. All I’m trying to do is to say that we have serious issues here. I understand people have concerns – THOSE are the issues we have to talk about.”
McCarthy says others wrongly criticize the EPA for being on a “land grab” and Brownfield reminded her that Iowa Senator Charles Grassley called it “a power grab”. She replied, “l know that he did. I’ve worked with Senator Grassley before. I have tremendous respect for him. We’ll even work with him as much as we have to to get him to understand that I’m trying to do this for the benefit of both agriculture and the folks that we care about and we work for.”
Senator Blunt says the rule expands the scope of the Clean Water Act rather than narrows it as McCarthy insists. McCarthy met with Missouri farmers and plans to visit farms in other states this summer. She spoke to the Kansas City AgriBusiness Council this afternoon. The public comment period on the proposed “interpretive” rule is extended until October 20th (2014).