Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Tuesday 06/10/14

Cantor Loses Primary; WOTUS Rule Delayed

I fired up the laptop to post a blog item on stuff like the EPA waters of the U.S. rule ask the Spurs took a nice lead early in the NBA Finals.

Then, -- Wow! House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia Republican primary to a tea party-backed economic professor named David Brat. As the New York Times wrote, Cantor "soundly" lost to Brat 55.5% to 44.5%.

Nobody can immediately recall a party leader losing in a primary. House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat, got swept out in 1994 by a little-known Republican. That's the closest loss that comes to mind.

Brat reportedly hammered Cantor on immigration. Cantor was soft on immigration because he wasn't absolutely opposed to doing anything. The immediate reaction is that immigration reform died with Cantor's loss because every Republican just saw how toxic the issue can be.

Brat also proved that an underfunded candidate can still take down a giant even in this era of dark money and unlimited contributions.

Meanwhile, the Spurs were hammering the Heat in the first half. The Heat, though, were coming back.

EPA Extends Comment Period on Waters of the U.S.

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced EPA had extended the comment period for the proposed waters of the U.S. rule until Oct. 20. Farm Bureau declared that allowed more time for opponents to defeat the rule.

The national Milk Producers Federation also thanked EPA for extending the comment period as well.

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued the proposal earlier this to try to redefine or clarify what a navigable waterway mean. In doing so, EPA opened a Pandora's Box because the rule goes upstream from those navigable waters "that could have a significant impact on the biological, chemical or physical integrity of navigable waters." That is what is guiding the development of the proposal.

The House transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold a hearing Wednesday morning looking at issues involving the Waters of the United States rule. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers officials are scheduled to testify, as well as American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman.

Information on the hearing can be found at http://dld.bz/…

Chris Clayton can be reached at chris.clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 9:10PM CDT 06/10/14 by Chris Clayton
Comments (6)
Chris: Voters took Cantor to the woodshed...and he deserved it with all of his double-talk on the issues. On the issue of the EPA water regulations, the problem with the regulations is that virtually any water that runs into a navigable waterway is subject to regulation. On my farms here in Ohio, that is just about any creek, drainage ditch, or minor erosion area. This leads me to beg the question: Will this do away with the ability to tile fields for drainage purposes? All of our drainage tile in Ohio eventually goes into a river or creek! How far will this go? I am afraid that the EPA will be reviewing every tiling permit to see how it affects water quality. If that is the case, tiling is over! I am meeting with some FSA people tomorrow on a tiling/waterway project on one of my farms, and I am afraid that's what they will tell me.
Posted by tom vogel at 7:57AM CDT 06/11/14
FSA and EPA are different and separate as I am sure you know. We had a large tiling project this year and FSA was concerned with wetlands, etc. No problems. EPA ans state enviro management were not interested. Army Corps thought it was too small of a project to address - and they were right! Still all rational folks that I met.
Posted by Don Thompson at 8:33AM CDT 06/11/14
Thanks Don: I am keenly aware of the difference between the two agencies. What is concerning me about Friday's meeting is this: Is the NRCS (also around here they are in the same offices with the FSAs) attempting to incorporate the EPA's thinking into the water management plans? Farmers in my area are scared to death over these potential regulations and what it will mean to drainage. After all, most of Ohio is tiled.
Posted by tom vogel at 3:22PM CDT 06/11/14
Ok Tom and Don, if water (rain fall) hits the ground, it will be in a watershed that leads to "navigable waterway". EPA will be able to regulate it. It is that simple.
Posted by Larry Jones at 12:23AM CDT 06/12/14
The Supreme Court had ruled before that they were overreaching now they are changing the rules so they can do anything. Believe me EPA, NRCS and FWS are all on the same team. Take for example the tying of wetland compliance to crop insurance, before they had that power there were hardly any violation cases, now already there are record violation number of cases in my county alone after they have changed the rules. They are going to take your drainage rights, it is happening already.
Posted by Unknown at 8:05AM CDT 06/12/14
If you are in the farm program they will use NRCS to deny you, if you are not in the farm program they will use the EPA.
Posted by Unknown at 8:08AM CDT 06/12/14
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