“E.P.A.’s Proposed Rules on Water Worry Farmers,” a New York Times article by Ron Nixon, explores how new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency could affect farmers, particularly provisions that require them to get permits for work for which they have long been exempt. Expanded EPA jurisdiction is likely to be costly and time-consuming for farmers.
Don Parrish, senior director of regulatory relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, noted in the article that EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have a lot of authority to interpret the rules as they choose, despite reassurances from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and agency officials that farm work will not be curtailed.
“They can say farmers won’t be impacted by this expansion of authority, but the truth is we just don’t know,” Parrish said. “And from what we have seen from the draft of the regulations, it’s really hard to tell.”