The House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the Science of EPA Overreach. Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke expressed concern that the EPA is overreaching its authority and negatively impacting the nation’s farmers. The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are likely to propose a rule that significantly expands the definition of waters they intend to regulate under the Clean Water Act. Through draft guidance and a document leaked to the press – Dierschke says the agency implies nearly all water is connected and EPA has authority to regulate them as they would navigable waters. Dierschke said Farm Bureau believes the draft rule fails to comply with important regulatory standards and is based on a scientific report that has not had sufficient peer review. If this broad interpretation is rolled into federal regulation – he said it will mean more permits, additional permit requirements and government and environmental group scrutiny of the things done in agriculture – as well as the threat of additional litigation against farmers and ranchers. According to Dierschke – effective envirionmental policies balance scientific, economic, social and environmental outcomes. Such policies – he said – create opportunity for farmers to improve net income, enhance the nation’s economic opportunities and preserve property rights while enabling them to produce an abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and energy.
US House Committee Hearing