Tennessee Farm Bureau hosted an event with Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to highlight the new Clean Water Rule and provide additional details about the proposed rule.
“It is a great day for agriculture,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken to the large crowd. “Farmers, homebuilders and businessmen from across Tennessee and surrounding states are excited with this announcement, which will provide clarity to farmers and allow them to continue to be good stewards of the land and environment.”
The new proposed rule provides definition and much-needed clarity for stakeholders to confidently know what is a “Water of the United States.”
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall was present and spoke to the crowd before introducing USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“For more than five years we have advocated for a new water rule that protects clean water and provides clear rules for people and communities to follow,” Duvall said. “Promises made; promises kept. Today, we are ditching that rule. This proposal promises to do just that, by giving farmers and ranchers the clarity they need to farm their land while also ensuring the nation has clean water. Farmers should not have to hire an army of consultants and lawyers just to work their land.”
Acting Administrator Wheeler, highlighting some of the proposed rule’s guidelines said to the crowd of more than 400 Farm Bureau leaders in the audience, “You provide the food for the table and you deserve a seat at the table.”
He called on everyone to provide comments to their rule so they can know what works and doesn’t work and complimented America’s farmers for their hard work. “A farmer is most likely the number one environmentalist in the country. You want to protect the environment and we know that. Our goal is to provide you certainty so you can do your jobs to the fullest,” Wheeler said.
Both Secretary Perdue and Acting Administrator Wheeler highlighted the fact that this rule comes from a combined team effort from both of their departments as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which was underlined as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army, Civil Works, Ryan Fisher was also present. They stressed they are working together with all departments and have open ears for ideas on how to make our country even stronger.