Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers Tuesday that the EPA has sent its repeal of the Waters of the U.S. rule to the federal register, beginning the process of ending the regulation. Pruitt at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing:
“I think what’s important, with respect to this issue, is the lack of clarity the 2015 rule created. It created a situation where farmers, ranchers and landowners across the country did not know whether their stream or their dry creek bed, in some instances, was subject to EPA jurisdiction and EPA authority. So, they were facing substantial fines as they did earthwork to build subdivisions. It was something that created a substantial amount of uncertainty and confusion.”
The formal withdrawal of the Obama-era rule follows through on a campaign promise by President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order requiring an EPA review of the rule.
Managed Honeybee Colony Numbers Increasing
The Department of Agriculture says the number of managed honey bee colonies has increased over the last decade. While recent public attention has focused largely on colony mortality trends, overall colony numbers have increased since 2006. USDA says the number of managed colonies has increased from roughly two million in 2006 to near 2.8 million in 2016. However, honeybee mortality, as measured by the loss of a honeybee colony, has remained high over the last decade.
National Weather Forecast for July 4 – 10.
USDA meteorology intern Seth Cohen has the regional weather forecast for July 4th through the 10th:
“The week’s going to start off on the warmer side, especially in the central and northern areas of the country. And as we progress onward into the latter stages of the week, and the weekend, that warmth will progress eastward, towards the east coast.
“In terms of precipitation and moisture, most of the rain looks likely to be contained in the corn belt region, as well as the mid-Atlantic states.”
USDA Launches Reorganization Commission
USDA is kicking off efforts to reorganize the department. a commission has been tasked to reorganize, modernize and trim the department. The commission will form a plan to reform USDA, which will be based on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s reorganization plan announced in May. The commission is part of a Trump Administration effort to reorganize federal agencies to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability” of the executive branch.