Waters of the US: “We ought to care about clean water” — Bill Midcap (Rocky Mountain Farmers Union)

Pond on the Garcia Ranch via Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust
Pond on the Garcia Ranch via Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Farmers like clean water.

And the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has broken ranks with many other water users in Colorado to support proposed rules meant to clear up discrepancies in U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Clean Water Act.

The group claims false claims are being made about the rules. The rules are proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The group placed an ad in Wednesday’s Chieftain claiming: “Washington lobbyists don’t speak for Colorado farmers.”

It’s a message to Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, who asked for and received a delay in the deadline for comments last month.

“It is critical that both Colorado senators and leadership at the USDA and EPA understand that ranchers and farmers need clean water to sustain our living, and appreciate balanced water policy. We believe the new rule targets both,” said Bill Midcap, external affairs director for the RMFU.

Midcap said the rules have exemptions that protect the way farmers use water. [ed. emphasis mine]

“We’ve had meetings with the EPA, so they could explain it to ag people,” Midcap said. “There is a lot of fear factor going on, and people ought to really pay attention to what the rule says.”

The rule clears up how the Clean Water Act applies to farms, and does [not] mean agricultural ditches and ponds will be taken over by the federal government, Midcap said.

“In our mission statement, it say we are stewards of the land,” he added. “We ought to care about clean water.”

More Environmental Protection Agency coverage here.

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