|AFBF Newswatch | EPA Lawsuit | PA Dept of Ag | PFB Achievements | Career Opportunities|
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau members or staff testifying or giving comments before government committee or agencies, concerning issues affecting the agricultural industry.
EPA Burdens Family Farms
TO: THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, ENERGY AND TRADE
REGARDING: ADRIFT IN NEW REGULATORY BURDENS AND UNCERTAINTY: A REVIEW OF PROPOSED AND POTENTIAL REGULATIONS ON FAMILY FARMERS
November 17, 2011
Presented by Carl Shaffer
President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Testifying on Behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation
Thank you, Chairman Tipton and Ranking Member Critz. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today, my name is Carl Shaffer, and I am pleased to offer this testimony on behalf of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
I own and operate a farm in Columbia County, Pennsylvania where I raise green beans for processing, corn and wheat. As a small businessman, I struggle to keep up with all of the laws and regulations that control how a person operates their business. Of all the federal regulatory agencies, the one that takes the most time and costs me most in productivity is the EPA.
In just the last three years EPA set in motion a number of new regulations that will change the face of agriculture. My written testimony highlights 5 issues. I will discuss 2 in the short time I have:
1. EPA’s burdensome – and we believe unlawful –micromanagement of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Loads; and
2. EPA’s proposed rulemaking expanding the scope of the waters regulated under the Clean Water Act;
The first issue is occurring right in my backyard – EPA’s TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay. All the land I farm is in the Bay Watershed, and most of the land is within sight of the Susquehanna River. Unfortunately, EPA does not believe that economic considerations should be taken into account when implementing a TMDL.
The overarching problem is that EPA’s Bay model is fundamentally wrong. EPA knows the model has significant problems and failed to correct it before they finalized the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in December 2010.
A news article recently reported on the lack of scientific credibility and quoted an EPA official dismissing the concerns of local and state governments saying, “Use common sense. Let's get on with it.” Another EPA official is quoted as saying, “None of this stuff should impede the planning for what everyone knows is needed to be done.”
“Common sense” would tell us that money does not grow on trees. Hard earned private capital must be applied in a manner to achieve actual and proven water quality improvements. “Common sense” would be for EPA to leave the implementation of a TMDL to the states, where Congress intended.
The second issue is EPA’s “draft guidance” on Clean Water Act jurisdiction. The draft guidance will greatly expand EPA’s regulatory footprint.
From the value of land – to restrictions on land use, farms and small business entities will experience negative economic consequences. EPA is changing the rules of the game and has indicated that they do not need to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
There is no question that asserting Clean Water Act jurisdiction will limit the activities that farmers, ranchers, and landowners can carry out on their land. EPA already tries to require permits for changing from one type of farming to another. The guidance will effectively remove the term “navigable” from the definition of Waters of the US”.
The term, and the definition of, “waters of the United States” permeates all sections and programs under the Clean Water Act, including:
• water quality standards,
• oil spill prevention control and countermeasures,
• water quality certifications,
• the just issued pesticide permits,
• and soon-to-be-issued post-construction storm water regulations.
The economic implications of continued and purposeful federal regulatory overreach will be staggering. These costs will impact the whole economy and this committee should not be surprised when our productivity contracts and jobs are lost to foreign competition.
Thank you for convening this hearing. I will be pleased to respond to questions.
Page 16 of 24<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next > End >>
PaOneStop, an online software tool which allows farmers to map their operations and assists with compliance on nutrient management regulations.