Friday, October 17, 2014

EPA meeting with organizations about water rules was 'too little, too late," rural utilities say

The Environmental Protection Agency dragged its feet in evaluating how proposed water rules will affect small businesses, and the recent meeting was "too little, too late," said the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Amena Saiyid reports for Bloomberg BNA. NRECA Executive Director Jo Ann Emerson said in a statement: "Both the law and good sense require the agencies to meet with those businesses most likely affected by expanding the definition of regulated waters prior to publishing the rule in the Federal Register.”

Also at the meeting were representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National Association of Home Builders, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Don Parrish, senior congressional relations director for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said most of the industry representatives were critical of the rules, with some fearing the rules will unnecessarily expand EPA's jurisdiction, Saiyid writes. Parrish told Saiyid, "None of the people present thought the agencies were doing the right thing. Everybody supported the Small Business Administration's demand that the agencies withdraw the rule and conduct a panel for small businesses." (Read more)

EPA has expanded its public comment period on the rules to Nov. 14. Comments can be made by clicking here.

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