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Author Topic: EPA/Army Corps-- Clean Water Act-- WOTUS action  (Read 7467 times)

Offline Shorthorns4us

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Re: EPA/Army Corps-- Clean Water Act-- WOTUS action
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2014, 09:40:42 AM »
Yes, I saw that article too from Matt Deppe about putting a Hereford steer on a soap box.  I don't have any facts to 100% dispute Mr. Stowe's opinion on the waterworks in DM, but I don't think it would solve all of his problems if there was no agriculture along "his" rivers.  Think about all of the run off going into those rivers from residential and commercial.  I have read that sometimes residential use of lawn chemicals is worse than agricultural use-- sometimes the average homeowner has good intentions, but way over uses the "round up" or "weed killer" that they bought at Menards and where does it go???
I used to like Mr. Stowe when he worked for the DM road department because he was funny when they interviewed him on the news during snow storms, but since he moved to water works-- he is kind of an a## now. 
There is so much stuff in those rivers that they have got to filter out before it can be used by public, he just has to accept that if you are going to use a moving waterway there is going to be crap.
JMO
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Offline GoWyo

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Re: EPA/Army Corps-- Clean Water Act-- WOTUS action
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2014, 11:01:24 AM »
Keep in mind that nonpoint source water pollution (from diffuse runoff) is much different than point source pollution (usually thought of as the end of a discharge pipe) and each type is handled separately by the Clean Water Act.  Nonpoint source can be from farm field runoff, storm water runoff, and the like.  If you overapply fertilizer, etc. then it can lead to nonpoint source pollution.  However, nothing under the federal law (various states have their own programs) requires doing anything as far as nonpoint source pollution unless a stream is found to be impaired for its designated uses; i.e. in Wyoming a cold water fishery can be impaired by sediment, temperature or other issues, a primary contact recreation water body can be impaired by e. coli, etc.  If sediment is coming from diffuse runoff and causing the impairment, then a "total maximum daily load" (TMDL) is established and the landowners in the drainage are required to apply best management practices to reduce the load.  The nonpoint source part of the CWA is generally voluntary, but the agency (usually the states have primacy with the EPA holding a stick behind them with the threat EPA will take over and a carrot out from of them in the form of funding and grants) can do some regulatory action to implement the water quality standard.

Point source pollution is handled with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.  All point sources such as water treatment plants, feedlots (Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), factories, etc. have to have a permit to discharge.  These permits are tightly regulated and subject to citizen suit provisions as well as large civil penalties for violation of the discharge limitations.  The NPDES dischargers may have their allowable discharges reduced due to the background pollution caused by nonpoint source pollution.  This is probably what this DesMoines water guy is referring to, but he needs to realize that there might not be much of a city if not for the ag and residential upstream of it.

The Section 404 dredge and fill part of the CWA is separately regulated from the nonpoint source program and the NPDES system, although dredge and fill is a point source activity.

To answer an earlier question, planting a fence post in a water of the U.S. or a wetland could be a discharge of a pollutant under the CWA and in violation of Section 404.  However, Section 404(f)(1)(A) exempts normal agricultural activities from regulation.  Refer to my earlier post about what EPA is attempting to do by narrowing the range of exempt ag activities to only NRCS approved practices.
May you always have cows around . . . ~ Corb Lund

Stop the violins -- visualize whirled peas

Offline Shorthorns4us

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Re: EPA/Army Corps-- Clean Water Act-- WOTUS action
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2014, 01:08:05 PM »
Thanks GoWyo!  You are very knowledgeable on the Clean Water Act.  I have learned a lot from your posts!
I will have to continue to stay connected to my Cattleman's Association to see what the next move is.  The IA Cattleman's Association has been really on the fore front of all of the "attacks" on agriculture.
EF

Offline jwfarms

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Re: EPA/Army Corps-- Clean Water Act-- WOTUS action
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2014, 03:16:10 PM »
There are two rulemaking activities going on.  The WOTUS jurisdictional rulemaking is aimed at allowing the EPA to claim the maximum area under its jurisdiction for all the different elements of the Clean Water Act. 

The other action is the interpretative rule which purpose is to basically start constricting the traditional agriculture activities that are exempt from having to obtain a Section 404 permit under the dredge and fill statute.  Many ag activities on what appears to be dry land are actually construed as dredging and filling of navigable waters or wetlands.

You are very knowledgeable about this subject, have you dealt with water rights on your own land?  Where do we stand now?  We have a small creek/stream that passes through the south part of our pasture and feeds into a water shed.

 

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