Franklin, TN October 24, 2017 – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made a goodwill visit to a Tennessee farm recently as part of his State Action Tour, to address the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and get comments on how to get it right going forward.
He met with 150 farmers from across the state on the Williamson County farm of Eddie and Pam Sanders with the message – “We’re here today to talk to farmers and ranchers, you are our first conservationists, our first environmentalists and can be great partners to make sure we do things right.”
Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken introduced the administrator, saying what a special day it was, “This is a historic day; we’ve never had the EPA administrator address our farmers, especially on a farm. Our farmers have excitement and hope with the changes Administrator Pruitt is making; it’s a great time for agriculture in Tennessee.”
Administrator Pruitt gave a brief overview of what the EPA has done since President Trump took office and highlighting some of the positive changes, including WOTUS.
“We want to make sure voices are heard across the full spectrum of this issue and we are making informed decisions in D.C. that creates an objective, measurable definition of what WOTUS is so farmers don’t have to guess,” said Pruitt.
Pruitt took questions from the crowd of farmers and agricultural leaders, addressing concerns and clarifying EPA’s role in both water and air quality.
“We are making sure the scientists are actually objective and transparent in their advice and council to the agency. What we need is objectively measured science that is not politically driven that helps us make informed decisions on how to improve air and water quality.”
“It is very important to see states as partners, not adversaries; so state by state we are building relationships with governors and their cabinets and working together to achieve water and air quality,” said Pruitt.
The EPA Administrator is taking time to visit states across the country to talk to stakeholders to get input on how they can provide clarity on WOTUS so that farmers and ranchers will know where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. They are getting positive results already, according to Pruitt.
“Farmers are optimistic someone is listening again, that they have a voice in this process. Oftentimes we don’t realize farmers and ranchers…are our first environmentalists. The greatest asset they have is their land. They care about that and care about the water they drink and air they breathe and we should work together to achieve good outcomes,” Pruitt said.
Contact-Director of Communications Lee Maddox firstname.lastname@example.org 931-388-7872