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by Eliza Winters

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Letters to the editor

Kansas Ag Alliance opposes new EPA proposed rule

On April 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule to expand federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Although the agencies have gone to great lengths to assure farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses that this rule will not affect them, nothing could be further from the truth.

The proposal attempts to bring ponds, puddles, ditches, and even dry land under federal regulation. This will require more permits for routine farming activities. Despite what they have said, the agencies narrowed statutory exemptions for agriculture under the CWA. These requirements will prevent expansions, conservation practice implementation and other beneficial activities that provide jobs and water quality benefits for Kansas. Furthermore, the rule will require the use of additional state resources as the federal government forces Kansas to regulate greater areas of the state under the CWA.

Members of the Kansas Agricultural Alliance, representing Kansas agriculture and rural businesses, sent a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, and our congressional delegation, asking them to help oppose the proposed rule. All Kansans should join us in writing the EPA and our congressional delegation asking them to ditch the rule.

—Aaron M. Popelka, President-Elect, Kansas Agricultural Alliance

Roberts working to stop EPA rule, invites comments

The Barack Obama administration is at it again with their regulatory stranglehold on our economy. This time, they are targeting bodies of water, no matter how small, like farm ponds and dry creek beds.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to expand the definition of “navigable waters” to further regulate what you can do on your private property. Without federally approved permits, fines could reach $37,000 a day for noncompliance.

I am pushing back hard against this stupid regulation, and we are winning. The EPA expanded the comment period for the proposal because of the sheer volume of comments already sent in.

This is how we killed proposed Internal Revenue Service regulations to limit free speech. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, and I introduced a bill to block the rules. The IRS received so many negative comments that they scraped the idea altogether.

With the partnership of Kansans, and with common sense, we can prevail over the EPA too. To weigh in, visit

—U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS


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