EPA administrator Gina McCarthy went to great lengths this week to assure farmers that the agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule won’t have much impact on the way they farm.
McCarthy delivered that message during a conference call with reporters, a visit to a Missouri farm and an address to the Kansas City AgriBusiness Council.
But many farm leaders and politicians remain skeptical. Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns says the way it is written, the water rule is too vague and wide open to interpretation—which he says could create problems down the road.
“Five years from now, somebody has a new interpretation—or ten years from now—and all of a sudden you have a rule that no one would have ever anticipated went that far, “Johanns says. “But that’s what happens.”
Johanns has supported several legislative efforts to prevent the EPA from implementing the rule, including an amendment introduced this week to block the rule.