Time to send a clear message to EPA

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Water in Kansas is a precious resource.  Kansans are keenly aware of the importance of protecting the soil, water, air and other natural resources found in our great state.

Kansas Department of Agriculture Without water, including clean drinking water, our major industries including agriculture, and the wellbeing of Kansans is at stake. Respect for the land and the bounty it offers; these are principles that every Kansan holds dear.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recognizes the importance of Kansas water supplies and has called for the development of a 50-year Vision for Water in Kansas. However, the Federal Government believes it knows better.  The heavy-handed overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency continues to threaten the livelihood and rights of Kansans. Kansas business owners, industry leaders and farm and ranch families will all be affected if the proposed rule addressing the Clean Water Act is pushed through. The latest media blitz in the Midwest to convince Kansans that the rule is benign and is in their best interest is a slap in the face. The rule, while promoted as reducing EPA oversight and clarifying the issue at hand, does nothing to improve the lives of Kansans.

The visit by U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the Midwest was part of a campaign that attempts to reduce participation in the comment process by spreading misinformation and glossing over the damaging intrusion into effective practices on our farm and ranch operations. This misguided campaign, while calling for dialog, offers little in the way of getting to the real intentions of the EPA in this process. Indeed, McCarthy has referred to the concerns of Midwesterners as “ludicrous.”

This proposed rule is bad for Kansas. Contrary to public comments from EPA officials, it extends federal jurisdiction beyond that authorized in the Clean Water Act and creates the opportunity for federal intervention in upland practices. The EPA proposal would likely bring many additional ponds, puddles, ditches, and even dry land under federal regulation, ultimately requiring more permits for routine farming activities. Despite EPA statements, the agency narrowed statutory exemptions for agriculture under the CWA. These requirements will prevent expansions, conservation practice implementation, and other beneficial activities that provide jobs and water quality benefits for Kansas.

The EPA says it is not their intention to exert additional jurisdiction over these items, yet by reading the rule, we believe that either now or sometime in the future, the EPA can and will do these very things.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Water Office and the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism have and continue to be actively engaged in identifying and bringing to the EPA’s attention the negative ramifications of the proposed rule.

We will not be deterred by a media campaign that is clearly running counter to what is in the best interest of Kansas business owners, families and agriculture interests. We will continue to fight to protect the rights of Kansas landowners and businesses.



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Marion    
Wyoming  |  July, 18, 2014 at 08:18 AM

I do not know of any more effective way of shutting down the country without an actual war, than to limit our access to water for raising food.

maggie b    
MS  |  July, 21, 2014 at 09:01 AM

True

Tionico    
July, 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

The entire premise of this article is flawed. It is way past time to "send a clear message to EPA, it is time to dismantle the entire organisation. Oringially an adivisory and policy drafting entity, they have become a government of and unto themselves with no meaningful oversight or limitations. They make law based on whatever they decide, then enforce it, seemingly immune to the due process requirements all other law enforcement have. End their tyranny, now.

Wayne    
Nevada  |  July, 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Been there. Watched them operate. You have a bunch of folks who never stepped in a cow pie making decisions about the dangers of cow pies. They thought I had lost it when I suggested people grow animals and food in their back yards for consumption. Many of them have never been west of the Susquehanna except to visit Disneyland or Las Vegas, both of which are material fantasy lands. You get'em, Girl. Hold your ground.

Wayne    
Nevada  |  July, 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Been there. Watched them operate. You have a bunch of folks who never stepped in a cow pie making decisions about the dangers of cow pies. They thought I had lost it when I suggested people grow animals and food in their back yards for consumption. Many of them have never been west of the Susquehanna except to visit Disneyland or Las Vegas, both of which are material fantasy lands. You get'em, Girl. Hold your ground.

Ken Billings    
Raleigh, NC  |  July, 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I am wholeheartedly in favor of curtailing the high-handed bureaucrats and the ridiculous power grab associated with this re-definition of the jurisdiction of the USACE and all the other Water Police. I clipped the following from the AGC Legislative newsletter, indicating that US Congressional Committees are also po'ed by this: "Also approved was the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 requiring the agencies go back to the drawing board on the “Waters of the United States” proposed rule jointly published by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers, and compels open consultation with state and local officials to develop a consensus about those waters for which there is a significant nexus so as to warrant the assertion of federal jurisdiction." SOOOO - don't limit your protest to this outlet - WRITE/CALL YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS!!!


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