Texas Farm Bureau president testifies on EPA overreach
WACO, Texas—A potential rule on creeks and streams could—under the Clean Water Act (CWA)—require farmers to obtain permits necessary to continue to operate. Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke expressed concern today before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overreaching its authority and impacting Texas farmers.
The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently proposed a rule that defined the waters the groups intend to regulate under the CWA. Through this proposal, the agency implies that nearly all water is connected and EPA has authority to regulate those navigable waters.
“We believe the draft rule fails to comply with important regulatory safeguards and is based on a scientific report that has not had sufficient peer review,” Dierschke said. “The impact of this broad interpretation, if rolled into federal regulation, will mean more permits, additional permit requirements and government and environmental group scrutiny of the things we do in agriculture, and the threat of additional litigation against farmers and ranchers.”
Texas Farm Bureau said effective environmental policies balance scientific, economic, social and environmental outcomes.
“Such policies create opportunity for farmers to improve net income, enhance the nation’s economic opportunities and preserve property rights while enabling farmers and ranchers to produce an abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and energy,” Dierschke said.