The Center for Rural Affairs says the proposed rule from the EPA and Corps of Engineers clarifying which waterways fall under the Clean Water Act is good for rural America.
But, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says the rule is a vast overreach and will be detrimental to farmers and ranchers. Ashley McDonald, NCBA’s environmental counsel says, “You know, it’s very costly. It’s going to be very time consuming and it’s going to be a big headache for cattle producers across the country.”
John Crabtree is Media Director for the Center for Rural Affairs tells Brownfield Ag News, “I think the NCBA’s reaction is where the overreach is.”
Crabtree says the rule provides clarity and removes the confusion caused by Supreme Court rulings that were vague about which waterways were covered, “The water that falls on and crosses our land and feeds the rivers is crucial to agriculture but it’s also crucial to the people downstream that drink it. And, so, we have a shared responsibility and this rule helps everyone see what their role is and what their responsibility is.” Both groups urge people to submit comments on the rule – which will be open for public comment for 90 days.