Wednesday, August 21, 2019

EPA chief: Plan for new water rule has created confusion

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy | Contributed photo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy promised progress on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule change and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while addressing the National Farmers Union (NFU) last week in Wichita, Kansas.

Speaking at the NFU’s 113th Anniversary Convention, McCarthy talked about the common goals held by the NFU and the EPA. “As long as we remind ourselves that we are totally aligned in our goals, we will get this job done, and we will get this job done well,” she said.

McCarthy thanked the union for its feedback and patience during the process of putting WOTUS together, while acknowledging that there were some issues in the initial draft. “I want to thank you for not having a knee-jerk reaction,” she said to NFU President Roger Johnson.

Specifically, McCarthy singled out the EPA’s broad definition of tributaries as something that needed to be corrected and called for clearer definitions when it came to ditches. “I really wish we had done a better job of rolling out the clean-water rule,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy also addressed the RFS, which Johnson was particularly eager to see enacted, saying it is economically vital for family farmers. “Implementing the RFS as Congress intended has been challenging,” McCarthy said, but she did commit to making progress in its adoption.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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