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Ag commissioners petition for withdrawal of Waters of the U.S. Rule

Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith

Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith

JACKSON — At the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), NASDA members, which include Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith, unanimously called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule.

The action item, submitted by North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring, also urges the EPA and Corps to collaborate with state departments of agriculture and other stakeholders on the appropriate scope of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

“As it stands, this proposed rule dramatically expands EPA’s jurisdiction and creates too much uncertainty for our farmers and ranchers. This rule must be withdrawn,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara Glenn. “It is critical that the agencies engage state regulators and stakeholders to work together to find a path forward before the agencies move towards implementation or further rulemaking.”

NASDA previously submitted comments expressing concerns about the Interpretive Rule for Agricultural Conservation Practices.

“Conservation and environmental protection are among our members’ chief responsibilities as state regulatory agencies. We feel the agencies’ proposals will dissuade the use of critical conservation practices needed to preserve American farmland,” said Glenn.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.

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