The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to implement the Waters of the U.S. rule, a new regulation that has the potential to have a significant and negative impact on farms and ranches across Maine.

While the EPA has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers on this rule, the Corps has now distanced itself from this rule. In fact, internal memos from the Corps states that the rule has “numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data” and “is not likely to survive judicial review in federal courts.” The memos describe key provisions of the rule as “not supported by any principle of science, hydrology or law” and state the rule would be “difficult to justify and challenging for the Corps to implement.”

Aggravating this situation is the fact that the EPA’s leadership and field staff do not have a shared understanding of the rule and how it will be implemented come Aug. 28, the day the rule takes effect.

Clearly, the EPA needs to postpone the implementation date and rescind this rule, and we call on them to do so. Until such action is taken, we urge Sen. Angus King to support S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which would withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule and force the agencies to develop a new rule that will protect the nation’s “navigable” waterways.

Chip Bowling, Newburg, Md.

President

National Corn Growers Association


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