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NCBA backs WOTUS Recommendations from EPA Advisory Committee

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says they’re supportive of water quality recommendations made by an Environmental Protection Agency advisory committee.

The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee recommended the EPA develop a clear and limited WOTUS definition and protect key exemptions for common agricultural features. 

NCBA’s Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager says the advisory committee’s recommendations are clear, farmers and ranchers need clear rules and regulatory certainty to be successful.  NCBA is urging the EPA to listen to its own advisory committee. 

The full recommendations include EPA compliance with the Clean Water Act and Supreme Court precedent limiting federal jurisdiction of bodies of water and developing a clear definition of WOTUS that is easily interpreted by farmers and ranchers.  It also includes protecting WOTUS exemptions for common agricultural features including farm ditches, stock ponds, prairie potholes, prior converted cropland, and other small, isolated water features.  The committee also recommended reconsidering the EPA roundtable process to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to voice concerns on WOTUS rulemaking. 

The FRRCC is a Federal Advisory Committee chartered by the EPA to provide policy advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on environmental issues impacting agriculture and rural communities. The committee consists of 32 members from across the United States representing academia, agricultural producers, affiliated industries, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments.

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