Governor Pushes EPA and Army Corps to Withdraw Water Proposal

by Staff – 9 July ’14

Calling it time consuming and costly, Governor Matt Mead is opposing the Interpretive Rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The Interpretive Rule expands the Waters of the U.S., which is part of the Clean Water Act. In a letter to the Administrator of the EPA and the head of the Corps Governor Mead asked the agencies to withdraw the Interpretive Rule.

“This rule is expansive, obtrusive, expensive and substantive,” Governor Mead said. “I believe it needs more thorough consideration and possibly Congressional action before it is implemented. It goes well beyond the Congressional purpose and intent of the Clean Water Act.”

The Interpretive Rule is only a part of the larger work of the EPA and the Corps related to redefining the Waters of the U.S. Governor Mead said the Interpretive Rule creates new regulatory hurdles for people in agriculture.

“Previously, everyday farming and ranching activities near Waters of the U.S. did not require permitting from the EPA and the Corps. Now, standards originally developed for people who voluntarily participated in programs through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would be required,” Governor Mead said.  “This changes the NRCS standards into regulatory thresholds where they were previously optional guidance for best practices. It expands the federal government’s role and will also discourage landowner participation in conservation activities. The Interpretive Rule should be withdrawn.”