KayDee Gilkey Farm Regulatory Act: A Bill To Clarify Farm Regulatory Certainty
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: February 21, 2017

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Recently introduced bi-partisan legislation, HR 848 the Farm Regulatory Certainty Act, will prevent farmers from being targeted twice if they are already engaged in legal action or are making a diligent attempt to work with the state or federal government to address issues. One of the bill’s sponsors is U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse. Congressman Newhouse says that due to a court decision dairy farmers in Central Washington’s Yakima Valley were to be regulated — similar to those who dispose of solid wastes in sanitary landfills — for nitrates found in groundwater.

 

Newhouse: “There was a federal judge in 2015 that ruled that the RCRA — the solid waste disposal rules — applied in this case to agriculture. Which goes against the Environmental Protection Agency’s intent and also the the Congress’ intent that those rules apply. Farmers are already regulated under several other laws including the Clean Water Act. So what this legislation is designed to do is to bring clarity so that farmers — not just dairymen, but all farmers livestock producers as well as crop producers — know what rules they are expected to follow so that we can get better environmental results. It is a little unfair of anyone to be held accountable to a rule that was not meant to apply to them and that they did not know applied to them. So that is what we are trying to do here — bring that clarity to the ag industry so that they can continue to improve their ag practices and in the long run we will get better environmental results.”

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