Additional WOTUS Meetings Planned

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Illinois Farm Bureau plans to conduct two additional meetings next month to help farmers better understand the proposed rule DTR THOMAS FAMILYredefining “waters of the U.S,” also known as, "WOTUS."

Both sessions will be held Sept. 9 in southern Illinois.

Johnson, Massac, Pulaski-Alexander and Union County Farm Bureaus will host a meeting at 8 a.m. in the River Room of the Shawnee Community College, 8364 College Road, Ullin. All are welcome, but members interested should RVSP by Aug. 29 to 618-745-9429.

Williamson County Farm Bureau will host a meeting at 7 p.m. at John A. Logan Community College, 700 Logan College Dr., Carterville. Members from neighboring counties can attend. Call 618-993-2609 to RSVP.

Lauren Lurkins, director of natural and environmental resources, will provide an overview of the proposal and explain how it will affect Illinois farmers.

Lurkins and Adam Nielson, Director of National Legislation and Policy Development, traveled the state earlier this month informing farmers about what the rule means to their operations. More than 650 farmers attended those meetings.

This story contributed by FarmWeek writer, Deana Stroisch.

 We need farmers to file more comments with the EPA-

Here is the comment that Clint Robinson, from Sullivan, Illinois filed with the EPA. If you would like help writing your story to file in an official comment, like this, contact Adam Nielsen or Lauren Lurkins.

Watch this short video of IFB Presdient Rich Guebert encouraging farmers to file a comment.

Clint writes-

"I  was born and raised on a small river that feeds the second largest lake in Illinois, and farm nearly 1,300 acres that surround the lake along with all small creeks and drainage ditches that feed it. I can assure you local farmers such as myself go to great lengths to make sure our practices don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

To claim that areas of land that have water in them for less than a handful of days or hours in any given year (qualify as “waters of the U.S.”) is simply ridiculous, and a huge overreach and abuse of power.

Even though I have always taken great care in farming my land, I am truly worried that this abuse of power could make most of the highly productive land that I farm a “no farming zone.”

Because I live near a large body of water, I fully appreciate the necessity to maintain a quality water system. However, I am supremely confident that we have the intelligence, technology and, most importantly, the desire to meet this great task without any bureaucrat who has never even been on my land or in my water system making rules and regulations to govern how I operate.

Furthermore, as a small, local farmer, I fear that this rule could have even greater consequences that have not been considered. For example, if every farmer is required to have licenses and permits to operate on their land, there will no doubt be costs associated with those licenses and permits. If a farmer fails to comply with those licenses and permits, that farmer will be fined. It seems to me that any small farmer that is forced into these permits, license and fines will have a much harder time paying for them because of the reduced number of acres they operate. While this may seem trivial on the surface, it is quite clear to me that this will reduce the number of small, local farmers across the nation."

Tell your story today by filing a comment-

Submit your comments before the October 20, 2014 deadline, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

 

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Help Ditch the Rule!

 Learn more about how you can help Ditch this Rule!

  1. Contact your County Farm Bureau and ask them how you can get involved.
  2. Share posts and retweet information from the IFB Facebook and Twitter pages as we share content at least twice per week.
  3. Contact your County Farm Bureau for additional resources such as a web graphic, yard sign, bumper sticker or window cling.

Tips for writing a comment-

Click here for a PDF sheet with tips for writing your comments.

Quick-read summary of WOTUS

Click here to read a quick summary about WOTUS.