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Alert: Preserve the Waters & Preserving Rural Resources Acts

March 30, 2012

By American Farm Bureau Federation

On The Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act 

“The Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act (S. 2245) addresses a critical issue. The legislation will stop the Environmental Protection Agency and Corp of Engineers from issuing final guidance that would significantly expand the regulatory reach of the two agencies. “The final guidance proposed by EPA and the Corps would, in effect, eliminate the term ‘navigable’ from the Clean Water Act. This would dramatically expand the scope of federal jurisdiction by eliminating a provision of the law that reserves jurisdiction over certain waters to the states.

“By issuing a guidance document as opposed to going through the rulemaking process, EPA and the Corps are bypassing the necessary public outreach required under the Administrative Procedures Act.

“Expanding federal jurisdiction in this manner-well beyond the words and intent of Congress and the limits affirmed by the Supreme Court-will harm farmers, ranchers and private landowners nationwide. We urge swift approval of the Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act.”

on Preserving Rural Resources Act 

“H.R. 4278, the Preserving Rural Resources Act, introduced in the House of Representatives today, addresses a critical issue. The legislation reinforces agricultural exemptions granted to farmers and ranchers by Congress in Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

“Without these exemptions, farmers, ranchers and the forestry community will face increased federal regulatory and compliance costs, as well as constraints on land used for the production of food, fiber and fuel. We’ve seen a concerted effort by regulators to narrow the scope and usefulness of the CWA exemption Congress explicitly intended for agriculture. This legislation is intended to reaffirm congressional intent.

“We thank Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) and Robert Hurt (R-Va.) for introducing the Preserving Rural Resources Act and look forward to working with them to ensure its swift consideration and approval by the House.”

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