Leaders of the New York Farm Bureau are in Washington this week for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy Conference and to meet with the state congressional delegation. New York’s largest agricultural lobbying organization has a number of priority issues, and it outlined the top three on a conference call with reporters this morning.
The comment period has closed for a proposed rule concerning the federal Clean Water Act. Before the deadline, the New York Farm Bureau barraged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a few thousand postcards. Meanwhile, EPA says there are several misconceptions.
A federally proposed water rule has New York farmers and others around the nation up in arms. They see it as an attempt to regulate virtually all water, and warn if implemented, the measure will raise the phrase "red tape" to a whole new level.
It’s not just the government that shut down today. Congress has failed to act on the Farm Bill extension, which expired at midnight, and some are concerned that will add to economic uncertainty, especially in the dairy sector.
The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers want to expand the federal Clean Water Act by changing the definition of “Waters of the U.S.”. A variety of groups in New York State are opposed to the move, saying it will harm New York’s economy and environment.