The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today applauded the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s approval of S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. The bill, introduced by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), addresses the overreach by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in finalizing their controversial rule to redefine “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.
“The Committee’s action today is an important first step in protecting farmers, ranchers and their co-ops from an unprecedented expansion of federal jurisdiction that goes well beyond anything envisioned when the Clean Water Act was passed or reauthorized,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner. “Without question, the WOTUS rule finalized late last month by EPA and the Corps would result in greater federal regulatory controls of day-to-day farming operations, higher costs and inefficiencies, and no real improvements to water quality.”
“I would like to thank both Senators Barrasso and Donnelly for their leadership on this issue,” Conner continued. “It is imperative that the Senate finds time on their calendar to take up and approve this legislation as quickly as possible.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.