Gary Baise, a Farm Futures blogger and lawyer at OFW Law, often finds himself in court fighting the Environmental Protection Agency over water litigation. When he hears EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy say the newly proposed waters of the U.S. rule isn’t an expansion of EPA’s jurisdiction, he has the facts to back her contradictions. He's outlined why the rule would harm agriculture in a five-part series on our site.
"My hope is that people can get the idea that something smells here with EPA saying one thing and the facts screaming something else," Baise says.
Over the spring Baise provided a five-part series at his blog, Defending Agriculture, at FarmFutures.com. The series looks at the specifics of exactly what the new rule would allow EPA to oversee.
Baise outlines in his blog post on EPA’s definition of tributary that the agency takes the position that a 'tributary' may be "…ephemeral, intermittent or perennial, but the tributary must drain, or be part of a network of tributaries that drain," into waters which are currently used, used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate commerce in the future.
EPA says that intermittent and ephemeral streams, when in a watershed and are considered in combination, have a "significant nexus" to traditional navigable waters and interstate waters.
"Not much left that EPA cannot claim jurisdiction over when it comes to water coming off your property," Baise says.
Read his full series by clicking on his blogs below.
Water Police, Part One: EPA Coming to Your Farm?
Water Police, Part Two: EPA Proposal Won't Help Ag
Water Police, Part Three: EPA's Definition of 'Tributary'
Water Police, Part Four: EPA's Definition of 'Adjacent Waters'
Water Police, Part Five: EPA’s Definition of ‘Other Waters’