By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
More than 70 food and agriculture groups have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for more time to commit to a new rule on waters of the United States. The formal request for an extension on certain agricultural practices was made in the form of a letter.
The rule expands the EPA’s definition of what is classified as navigable waters. Currently, it includes waters and waterways with a hydraulic connection to navigable waters. But the new rule would redefine “waters of the United States” to also include intermittent or seasonal (a body of water that flows for part of the year) and ephemeral streams (a stream that flows during/following a period of rainfall).
Agriculture groups argue that the expanded rule could affect farming practices. The groups point out that the 90 day comment period on the proposed rule is the busiest time for farmers, making it difficult for them to take the time to comment on a rule that could greatly impact their farm. The organizations involved in the drafting the letter to the EPA are asking for an additional 90 days to submit comments.