Stoner 915 am tuesday

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  • We worked very hard to not only make sure the proposed rule doesn’t have a negative impact on agriculture, but that it actually benefits those involved in farming, ranching, and forestry.
  • For the past three years, EPA and the Army Corps have listened to important input from the agriculture community. Using the input from those discussions, the agencies then worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that concerns raised by farmers and the agricultural industry were addressed.
  • All agricultural exemptions and exclusions from Clean Water Act requirements that have been developed over 40 years have been retained or expanded.
  • Through coordination with USDA, EPA and the Army Corps have ensured that 56 conservation practices that protect or improve water quality will not be subject to Clean Water Act dredged or fill permitting requirements. This is being done through an interpretive rule that was published at the same time as the proposed rule and will go into effect immediately. Here are a few examples.
  • To qualify for this exemption, the activities must be part of an established farming, forestry, or ranching operation, consistent with the statute and regulations and be implemented in conformance with Natural Resource Conservation Service technical standards.

    Farmers and producers will not need a determination of whether the activities are in “waters of the United States” to qualify for this exemption nor will they need site-specific pre-approval from either the Corps or the EPA before implementing these specified agricultural conservation practices to qualify for the exemption. The farmer will engage with NRCS to undertake these practices, not EPA or the Army Corps.

    Through a memorandum of understanding, EPA, the Army Corps, and USDA have set up a process for working together to implement these new exemptions and for periodically identifying, reviewing, and updating NRCS conservation practice standards and activities that would qualify under the exemption.
  • Input has played an important role in shaping the proposal.
  • EPA and the Army Corps consulted extensively with stakeholders for the past several years.

    The agencies also carefully considered about 415,000 comments received since the Supreme Court decisions.
  • Stoner 915 am tuesday

    1. 1. Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule
    2. 2. Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule Clarifies protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands
    3. 3. Streams and wetlands benefit communities
    4. 4. Streams and wetlands are economic drivers
    5. 5. Upstream waters impact downstream waters
    6. 6. Percent of seasonal or rain-dependent streams D.C. – 28% Maryland – 20% Pennsylvania – 25% Virginia – 30% West Virginia – 36%
    7. 7. Streams provide drinking water
    8. 8. Streams provide drinking water in Chesapeake Bay watershed
    9. 9. Rulemaking was requested by many stakeholders Congress State and local government Industry Agriculture Environmental groupsHunters and fishermen Public
    10. 10. Supported by latest peer-reviewed science Scientific assessment of 1,000+ pieces of literature
    11. 11. Reduces confusion about Clean Water Act protection
    12. 12. Streams systems are protected
    13. 13. Waters near rivers and streams are protected
    14. 14. Other types of waters will be evaluated on a case specific basis.
    15. 15. Saves Businesses Time and Money
    16. 16. Provides More Benefits to Public Than Costs COSTS $162 to $279 million Mitigating impacts to streams & wetlands from dredged or fill material Taking steps to reduce pollution to waterways. BENEFITS $388 to $514 million Reducing flooding Filtering pollution Providing wildlife habitat Supporting hunting & fishing Recharging groundwater
    17. 17. Helps states to protect their waters
    18. 18. What the Rule Does NOTDo Does NOT protect any new types of waters Does NOT broaden coverage of the Clean Water Act Does NOT regulate groundwater Does NOT expand regulation of ditches Does NOT remove any exemption currently in the statute or regulations
    19. 19. Input from agriculture community shaped the proposal
    20. 20. All Exemptions and Exclusions Preserved • Normal farming, silviculture, and ranching practices. • Upland soil and water conservation practices. • Agricultural stormwater discharges. • Return flows from irrigated agriculture. • Construction/maintenance of farm or stock ponds or irrigation ditches on dry land. • Maintenance of drainage ditches. • Construction or maintenance of farm, forest, and temporary mining roads. • Artificially irrigated areas that would revert to upland if irrigation stops. • Artificial lakes or ponds created by excavating and/or diking dry land and used for purposes such purposes as rice growing, stock watering or irrigation. • Artificial ornamental waters created for primarily aesthetic reasons. • Water-filled depressions created as a result of construction activity. • Pits excavated in upland for fill, sand, or gravel. • Prior converted cropland. • Waste treatment systems (including treatment ponds or lagoons).
    21. 21. 56conservation practices exempt from dredged or fill permitting Conservation cover Riparian forest buffer Stream crossing Wildlife habitat restoration Wetland enhancement Tree/shrub establishment
    22. 22. Permit not needed for the specific NRCS practices
    23. 23. Public input was considered 415,000comments 4+years of dialogue
    24. 24. Outreach is underway across the country
    25. 25. 90day public comment period July 21comment period closes Want Comments and Input on Proposed Rule
    26. 26. www.epa.gov/uswaters

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