The American Farm Bureau Federation on Thursday released a seven-page legal analysis addressing an EPA question-and-answer document from the U.S. EPA regarding its Waters of the U.S. proposed rule.
AFBF's document, "Trick or Truth: What EPA and the Corps of Engineers Are Not Saying About Their Waters of the U.S. Proposal," says the EPA document does not " give straight, reliable answers to the questions posed. Instead, it omits or even misstates key information about the proposed rule and its true impacts on farmers and ranchers."
AFBF says the rule would expand the reach of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in addition to requiring permitting requirements for several land uses, including ordinary farming and ranching activities.
"Top-level EPA officials have portrayed farmers' concerns as 'ludicrous,' when in fact they are perfectly valid. Farmers and other small business owners and land owners deserve better than misinformation from their government," AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said in a statement.
The document follows several other probes into the U.S. EPA's proposed rule. An earlier review of the Waters of the U.S. economic analysis, prepared by the Waters Advocacy Council, suggested the EPA's proposal did not accurately estimate the rule's impact on affected communities and businesses, and under-represents jurisdictional areas.
AFBF, a member of the WAC, suggests also that the rule is contrary to two Supreme Court rulings. The group is currently running a "Ditch the Rule" campaign to urge farmers to read the fine print of the proposed rule.
EPA is continuing to take public comment on the rule on the Federal Register. WOTUS comments will be accepted until Nov. 14.
Read more about the Waters of the U.S. proposal:
EPA Review Board Stands By Waters of the U.S. Proposal
House Approves Bill Limiting EPA's Waters of the U.S. Proposal
EPA Opens Comments on Waters of the US Language
Senators Request Withdrawal of Waters of the U.S. Interpretive Rule
Waters of the U.S. Support Issued by 8 Attorneys General
AFBF Letter Cites SBA's Review of the Waters of the U.S. Proposal