EPA Agricultural Advisory Committee Releases Report on WOTUS, Other Topics – Agweek

WASHINGTON — An agricultural advisory to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency has filed a report making recommendations to the agency on several topics, such as U.S. waters, pesticides and food waste.

The 32-member Farms, Ranches and Rural Communities Committee developed the

46 page report

excluding meetings in 2020 and 2021.

On U.S. waters, the report recommends that the EPA “Define WOTUS using terms that are clear, easy to interpret and apply. The most important aspect of any definition of WOTUS is that it should be easily interpreted. by farmers, pastoralists and rural community leaders.and interpreted with clear lines of jurisdiction.There is a need for a new WOTUS rule to avoid vague terminology that landowners and regulators cannot enforce without engaging in tedious analyses.

The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are currently gathering feedback as the agencies work on a revised definition of United States waters, or WOTUS, which is essential to federal clean water law enforcement.

Another recommendation on WOTUS is that it “retains exclusions that are essential for farmers, ranchers and rural communities and recognized regional differences. Waters that do not fit into any of the jurisdictional categories of the new WOTUS rule should not be jurisdictional. There is, however, the potential for misinterpretation and misapplication, so clear and well-defined exclusions are necessary for certainty and precise and consistent implementation.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on Friday January 14 released a statement supporting WOTUS’ recommendations on the report which was released Wednesday January 14. January 12.

Scott Yager, NCBA’s chief environmental adviser, said the report is important because of the

committee diversity

who made the recommendations, with people representing agricultural and rural watersheds, but also tribal and local governments. “It’s a real cross-section of our country,” Yager said in an interview. He said these diverse voices “help amplify the message” the agricultural sector is sending about a clear and limited definition of WOTUS.

Recommendations on other topics include:

Pesticides and crop protection:

  • Implement a multimedia campaign to educate the public about the framework followed by the EPA in its decision-making process to regulate pesticides.
  • Implement a standard set of pesticide label information for a consumer audience regarding household pesticides.
  • Develop an advisory board of farmers and ranchers on Federal Insecticides, Fungicides, and Rodenticides Act registration processes.
  • Establish a focus group modeled after the Animal Agriculture Focus Group that would facilitate dialogue between the EPA and farmers and ranchers regarding crop protection tools.

Food loss and waste:

  • The EPA should offer guidance on creating waste management plans that call for separating and diverting food waste from landfills, as it does for other materials.
  • The EPA should promote and encourage the Food and Drug Administration to adopt food safety guidelines for food donations similar to the draft guidelines recently released by the US Department of Agriculture.

Ecosystem management: Seek a collaborative agreement with other agencies such as USDA and FDA to develop an ecosystem management system.