Last week, the House Agriculture Committee called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Gina McCarthy to explain her agency’s decisions and discuss the EPA’s proclivity for creating regulations and policies that are burdensome, overreaching and negatively affect jobs and the rural economy.
Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, pointed out in his opening statement that “farmers and ranchers believe the EPA is attacking them. They believe little credit is given to them for all the voluntary conservation activities that they have been engaged in for years. This Committee is going to be an advocate for those farmers.”
Members of the committee questioned the agency’s overreaching, burdensome regulations and policies, including the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, strident pollution standards on the Chesapeake Bay and proposed changes to the ozone standard and pesticide uses that would affect agriculture. Lawmakers also questioned the legality of EPA’s actions in using “covert propaganda” during the public comment period on the WOTUS rule.
Conaway specifically raised concerns about the new definition of WOTUS, which he cited as a prime example of EPA's failure to consider the viewpoints of other agencies.