Senate Republicans Take Another Swipe at EPA Regulations on Water

Senate Environment Committee Republicans took aim at the EPA late last week over farm and other regulations as agency Administrator Lisa Jackson testified on EPA’s 2013 budget request. The hearing came one day after a Supreme Court ruling in an Idaho Wetlands Case that Mike and Chantell Sackett can challenge the EPA in court over its order to halt development on their property.

Jackson assured Senate Environment Top Republican James Inhofe the agency would comply with the ruling – but Inhofe had other issues – including an EPA end-run of Congress to vastly expand waters EPA controls…

“It’s turned out that this would be the most damaging thing in terms of ag, the Farm Bureau and other groups like that have said that this is not livable. Consequently, I was disappointed when we sent the guidance for OMB for final review.”

Jackson responded that the Supreme Court did not deal with the separate issue of water jurisdiction that the EPA’s dealing with through regulatory guidance…

“We have heard from a number of stakeholders from across the country about the confusion that is resulting in the lack of protection on certain lands, and in certain areas, and that is what the guidance is…which has been out for public comment and is in the process of being finalized.”
Inhofe vowed to work with other Republicans to block the EPA’s new guidance that the American Farm Bureau complains could give EPA power over even puddles. Inhofe challenged EPA’s latest effort to force retailers to report when they custom-blend fertilizer for farmers…

“Even thought he exempts fertilizers held for sale by the ultimate consumers. Now, farmers don’t buy their fertilizer from Wal-Mart, they have to be custom blended, so technically, that is selling to the ultimate consumer, and I just want to get some kind of commitment that we’re going to let them enjoy the exemption that’s in the law right now.”

Jackson was stumped – admitting she wasn’t familiar with the issue – but would look into it. However – she defended her performance – arguing she’s signed fewer rules than her predecessor – that some resulted from court rulings and that health and job savings are significant. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.

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