Monday, November 07, 2016 by Don Wrightman
Donald Trump assured his farm-owning supporters that he is their best chance to put a stop to the EPA’s penchant for over-regulation. He expressed the need to eliminate the Waters of the United States rule, and scrap the EPA’s clean power plan, which costs us $7.2 billion annually. This makes Trump by far the best candidate for agriculture.
In a recent AgriTalk interview, the presidential candidate’s agricultural advisor, Sam Clovis, discussed Trump’s stance on agricultural issues. The EPA and the Waters of the United States rule were big areas of concern. “We are looking very hard at putting a farmer or rancher in charge of the EPA,” Clovis says.
Since the EPA is part of the executive branch, the President can appoint it’s director, though they must gain approval from Congress. The Trump camp wants someone who knows agriculture and understands how the EPA impacts the industry. On his first day in office, Trump plans to stop to the EPA’s rule-writing and take a look at all rules written over the past 5 years. Trump wants to immediately terminate about 20 percent of existing rules, including Waters of the United States.
“The President can go in and tell the director of the EPA to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. rules,” Clovis says. “We will get through the abuse of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which is taking place through the EPA, and we will eliminate those abuses. We think the Waters of the U.S. is an enormous overreach, and it needs to be eliminated.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation outlined how the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule gives the agency tremendous power regulating land use, despite laws prohibiting such overreach. The beauru claims that there is no clarity, no certainty and no limits to the agency’s power. The biggest concern lies in the definition of tributary. The rule defines this word so broadly that it can apply to virtually any land. Defing features of a tributary may not be visible, or may no longer exist, but did from a historical standpoint — and so, the rule can still be applied.
The final version of the rule, although still in court battle, makes so-called tributaries impossible to identify. It could apply to any ditch and waters adjacent to any tributaries. It will be very difficult to determine if any water on your land is within the 100 year floodplain or within 1500 feet of any tributary. This only scratches the surface of The American Farm Bureau’s concerns and landowners shouldn’t hesitate to let Trump handle business.