The American Farm Bureau Federation today released a legal analysis, “Trick or Truth? What EPA and the Corps of Engineers Are Not Saying About Their Waters of the U.S. Proposal.” The seven-page paper shows how a recent Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Q&A” misleads the public about their proposed expansion of federal jurisdiction over waters.

The Trick: The EPA and Corps of Engineers claim to answer important questions about the rule.

The Truth: The agencies withhold and misstate key information to hide the true impact of the rule.

“This proposed rule would dramatically expand the reach of extremely costly federal permitting requirements to cover countless land uses, including ordinary farming and ranching activities—even mowing grass in a ditch,” according to AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen. “Top-level EPA officials have portrayed farmers’ concerns as ‘ludicrous,’ when in fact they are perfectly valid. Farmers and other small business owners and land owners deserve better than misinformation from their government.”

“Trick or Truth” lays out in detail how the proposed waters rule would:

 

  • Expand federal power to restrict land use;
  • Regulate so-called “streams” that are nothing more than subtle landscape features where rainwater channels; and
  • Establish federal permit requirements for essential farming practices like crop protection and fertilizer use.

 

Farmers and ranchers need to read the fine print. “Trick or Truth” will help them do that. The paper is posted at: http://bit.ly/1E5Ujnb.