Collins, farmers applaud EPA decision to rescind ‘overreach’ on small bodies of water
‘Requiring farmers to get either the EPA or Army Corps’ approval before farming would have been a nightmare.’ – Jim Bittner, Niagara County Farm Bureau president
Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins and local Farm Bureau presidents applauded the Trump Administration’s decision to either rescind or revise the Waters of The United States (WOTUS) rule imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama administration.
“This rule was an example of reckless government overreach, that brought undue burdens to farmers in Western New York,” said Collins. “I was proud to lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to scrap the WOTUS rule and applaud President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for taking this common sense step to support our nation’s agriculture industry.”
Both Congressman Collins and Farm Bureaus located within New York’s 27th Congressional District have been vocal in their opposition to the WOTUS rule.
(Editor’s note: The rule, which has been delayed in its implementation, extended existing federal pollution protections of large bodies of water to smaller bodies that flow into them, such as rivers, small waterways and wetlands.)
In May 2014, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter signed by more than 200 members of Congress to former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Department of the Army Secretary John McHugh outlining concerns related to this rule. Collins believed the WOTUS rule was “built on incomplete scientific study and a flawed economic analysis” and formally requested the rule be returned to their respective agencies.
“Farmers are simply trying to provide for their family, community, and the nation, so it is unfortunate the federal government imposed this type of rule in the first place,” said Jeffrey Simons, President of the Erie County Farm Bureau. “Plain and simple, more federal regulations will make it harder for farmers to do their job. Today’s decision is a tremendous victory for Erie County farmers, and I want to thank Congressman Collins for fighting on our behalf since the beginning.”
“The WOTUS rule was an overreach since it was first proposed and we’ve seen the negative impact it has had and would continue to have on our local agriculture industry,” said Christian Yunker, President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau. “In the end, common sense prevailed and everyone’s hard work has paid off. I appreciate all of Congressman Collins efforts—this is fantastic news for all of agriculture, not just here in Genesee County.”
“When the WOTUS rule was first proposed, we knew this was a blatant overreach by the EPA,” said Jim Bittner, President of the Niagara County Farm Bureau. “This rule would have had negative effects on practically every piece of farmland here in Niagara County. Congressman Collins understood this from the beginning, because requiring farmers to get either the EPA or Army Corps’ approval before farming would have been a nightmare. We’re very glad to hear this rule will be rescinded.”