TOPEKA, KS (AP)--Gov. Bill Graves criticized the Environmental Protection Agency July 14 for proposing new water quality standards for Kansas and suggested the federal agency had hurt its credibility.

Among other things, the EPA wants to require Kansas to regulate the water quality of lakes and ponds surrounded by private land, including farm ponds. State law doesn't attempt such regulation if a lake or pond is inaccessible to the general public.

Graves mocked the EPA by declaring that he wanted to warn Kansans that farm ponds are meant for cattle, not for swimming.

"The notion that EPA wants to have those farm ponds clean enough to swim in is on its face somewhat ridiculous," he said.

The EPA's proposed regulations were among several topics Graves discussed during a news conference in his Statehouse office.

"We don't need the EPA, you know, telling us what to do," Graves told reporters.

The governor's comments on the EPA's water quality efforts came two days after the federal agency postponed a July 27 hearing in Topeka on the proposed regulations. The hearing was rescheduled for Sept. 13, and the EPA plans a second hearing in Dodge City on Sept. 14.

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