Chairman Sends Letter to EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Proposed ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule

WASHINGTON – Chairman Ron Johnson sent letters today to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ commanding general and chief of engineers asking for details  about the agencies’ consultations with states, the agencies’ outreach to the agricultural community, and the agencies’ evaluation of their legal authority as it pertains to the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule.

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to expand their jurisdiction to regulate waters under the Clean Water Act to include, potentially, streams, ditches and man-made ponds.  The proposal could lead agencies to demand to costly environmental assessments and federal permits from farmers before they’re allowed simply to till the soil or take part in conservation practices.  The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association warn that the proposal would cost jobs and become an undue burden on agriculture.