The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council filed comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “interpretive” rule. The rule will make the Natural Resource Conservation Service a regulatory compliance agency, resulting in cattle producers putting less conservation on the ground.
The interpretive rule was published in the Federal Register the same day as the agencies’ proposed rule to redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The rule’s intent is to interpret what Congress meant when it included a statutory exemption for “normal farming, silviculture and ranching activities” under the 404 Dredge and Fill Program.
“The EPA claims they have made right with the agricultural community by interpreting their exemption to only include the ‘normal’ 56 NRCS practice standards, excluding all other NRCS practice standards and all voluntary conservation activities,” said Ashley McDonald, NCBA environmental council. “By defining these very specific 56 practices, the interpretive rule only narrows the scope of what is considered normal farming and ranching practices.… Continue readingRead More »