Many farm groups continue to fight the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule proposed for the Clean Water Act – and Illinois Farm Bureau is no exception.
Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureau Legislative Director, told Brownfield at the 2014 Illinois State Fair that the EPA wants to regulate everything and he thinks the agency is intentionally setting itself up for failure. Nielsen tells Brownfield Ag News, “Groups are going to say, you’re not enforcing this or that. There’ll be lawsuits filed against the EPA or farmers. And, groups that have had agriculture in their sights for many years over what we do on our farms every day are going to have a field day in court.
Nielsen says the courts will then continue the “gradual erosion of what farmers can do without permits.”
Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert says farmers care greatly about water quality and the environment. Guebert tells Brownfield Ag News, “We’re appropriate in reducing nitrogen and phosphorus run-off and that is our goal. You know, farmers really want to do what’s right and we’ve always done that because want to pass that farm down to our sons and our daughters and grandkids in the months and the years ahead.”
Illinois Farm Bureau is asking farmers to comment on the rule and ask their lawmakers to support bills in the U.S. House that would eliminate the EPA’s “interpretive rule” and end the rulemaking process – sending the EPA and Corps of Engineers back to the states to find a better fit.