MFBF: Speak Out About Overregulation of Water


The following is a press release from the Montana Farm Bureau Federation:

The Montana Farm Bureau has kicked off its “Stop the Flood of Regulation” campaign. The campaign urges Congressmen to oppose any legislation or other attempts to take the word ‘navigable’ out of the Clean Water Act. Through what is officially known as a “guidance document,” EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are seeking to gain more control of state waters, which includes removing the word “navigable.”

“If you take the word ‘navigable’ our of the Clean Water Act, every irrigation ditch, farm pond and seasonal stream will become regulated by the U.S. government, mainly the Environmental Protection Agency,” notes John Youngberg, vice president of governmental relations, MFBF. “The creators of the Clean Water Act never intended the government to have control over your kid’s fishing hole. It was created to protect national waterways, such as major rivers and lakes, from industrial pollution.”

At fairs across Montana, county Farm Bureaus have placed a large letter in poster form at their booths to “Stop the Flood of Regulation.” The public is encouraged to sign the letter which is directed to Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, as well as to Congressman Denny Rehberg. The letter urges the senators to vote “yes” on Senate Bill 2245, which would prevent the word ‘navigable’ from being removed from the CWA.  Fairgoers can also sign a postcard, which will be sent to Congressional offices.

“If you haven’t signed the big letter or postcard, and your county or regional fair has passed, there are still productive ways to let our Congressmen know how you feel,” noted Youngberg.  “The best way this month is to attend town meetings while our Congressmen are home on recess, or stop by their local office if they are going to be there. There’s nothing as effective as face-to-face communication. Of course, you can always send an email or simply call their local office and let them know how you feel.”

Youngberg explains that keeping the word ‘navigable’ in the CWA verbiage does not in any way weaken the legislation. “The Clean Water Act has done a fine job in getting our streams and rivers cleaned up over the past 40 years and I don’t know of any farmers or ranchers who oppose it,” he said. “However, the fact is that the past three Congresses have voted to keep the word ‘navigable’ in the Clean Water Act. The fact that EPA is now trying to circumvent that vote is disturbing. We are all for clean water. What we’re not for is every ditch, puddle and farm pond being regulated by a government agency.”

Source:  Montana Farm Bureau Federation

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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