Senate Targets EPA Over Water Law, Ag Department Funding Businesses
- Senate Ag Committee members requested withdrawal of part of the EPA’s Water of the U.S. proposal last week.
In a letter to the EPA, the senators on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee asked the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the agriculture interpretive rule of WOTUS. The Senators argued the proposal could fundamentally alter interaction between farmers and the federal government.
The letter stated that farmers and ranchers were deeply concerned the rule “has created great confusion about what agriculture activities are exempt from regulation under the Clean Water Act.”
- Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding to strengthen rural businesses and cooperatives and to boost economic development.
Vilsack announced 43 organizations were selected in 27 states for grants and loans. The funding is being provided through the USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program and the Intermediary Relending Program.
Vilsack stated the funding “will provide the critical training and technical assistance rural cooperatives and non-profit groups need to enhance the work they are doing to strengthen America's Main Street businesses."