Decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies to broaden the definition of regulated waters are unfair and could ultimately drive family farmers out of business, Iowa Farm Bureau members emphasized last week in meetings with all members of the Iowa Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.

"It’s a very big concern for us," said Clinton County Farm Bureau member Dustin Johnson during a meeting with Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack. "We don’t want to see farmers, who are doing the right thing, be burdened by a ton of permits and paper work. That’s only going to take time and money away from doing the things that would actually benefit the environment."

Questions on water rule

Johnson and other Iowa farmers were reacting to a proposal announced last week by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clarify which streams and other bodies of water are subject to the regulation through the Clean Water Act. (For more on the EPA announcement see article on page 4 of the Spokesman.)

While the agencies claim to have ...