WASHINGTON – In an effort to begin a dialogue about important concerns of the agriculture community about EPA regulations, Senator Chuck Grassley joined Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to request a meeting with EPA Director Gina McCarthy.
The senators wrote to McCarthy that they had heard concerns about EPA regulations from constituents and agriculture leaders in their home states. “As members of the Agriculture Committee, we write to request an opportunity to meet with you so we can share those thoughts directly and have a better understanding of your commitment, including activities and timeframe, for addressing the needs of agriculture and rural America,” the senators wrote.
“Heavy-handed EPA regulations threaten to very livelihood of farmers and rural communities,” Grassley said. “There’s no question that the EPA needs to be more cognizant of rural America and the role agriculture plays in a growing economy.”
Grassley signed the letter led by Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Saxby Chambliss, John Boozman, John Hoeven, Mike Johanns and John Thune.
A copy of the text of the letter is below. A copy of the signed letter is here.
May, 23, 2014
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
Dear Administrator McCarthy:
We have repeatedly heard concerns about regulations from our agriculture constituents and rural leaders during their visits to Washington as well as back home in our states. While the agriculture economy remains vibrant, there are significant concerns regarding a number of regulatory matters before the Environmental Protection Agency. As members of the Agriculture Committee, we write to request an opportunity to meet with you so we can share those thoughts directly and have a better understanding of your commitment, including activities and timeframe, for addressing the needs of agriculture and rural America.
We have heard concerns about the expansion of the definition of "waters of the United States," pesticide regulations, methane emissions, the handling of personal information from agriculture operations, and other regulatory issues that may be on the horizon and could threaten the continued productivity and economic viability of American agriculture. At a time when farmers and ranchers face the challenges of managing weather risks, responding to market demands, and adjusting to changes from the recently passed farm bill, regulatory uncertainty further complicates the operating environment for producers. The world is depending on the United States to meet the challenge of feeding a hungry and rapidly growing global population.
Uncertainty about how and when such regulatory concerns will be resolved not only threatens America's leadership position in global food production, but also investment and prosperity in our rural cities and towns, which are dependent on the health of the agricultural sector.
We look forward to beginning a dialogue about these important concerns in the near future.