Oklahoma Farm Bureau submitted comments today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule to define “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
The rule proposed by the EPA and Corps will affect a large number of OKFB members, said OKFB President Tom Buchanan.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s members engage in activities on land and water that often require a jurisdictional determination from the Corps before proceeding,” said Buchanan. “Any change in CWA regulations that would change the scope of federal jurisdiction will have a substantial effect on our members’ ability to finance and develop new projects or perform maintenance to maintain existing infrastructure and facilities.”
Together, the EPA and the Corps are soliciting comments on a proposed rule that redefines “waters of the United States” under all CWA programs. According to OKFB, the proposed regulation unnecessarily broadens the scope of CWA jurisdiction beyond constitutional and statutory limits established by Congress and recognized by the Supreme Court.
The EPA proposes to expand CWA jurisdiction far beyond traditional navigable waters to land features that sometimes convey water, like ditches. Any change in CWA regulations that would change the scope of federal jurisdiction will have a substantial effect on our members’ ability to farm and ranch.
OKFB is a general farm organization with about 100,000 member families and is the voice of agriculture in Oklahoma. OKFB represents farmers and ranchers with operations of all sizes and who raise a wide variety of crops and livestock.