ICYMI: Highlights from the Cattle Industry WOTUS Roundtable

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2022) – Yesterday, the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), hosted a Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) roundtable with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers. One of 10 WOTUS roundtables selected by the EPA, this roundtable was the only one solely focused on the cattle and beef industry. A recording of the full roundtable is available here.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROUNDTABLE


Cattle Producers Need Certainty Under the Rules


Aaron Popelka, Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs, Kansas Livestock Association: “We supported the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, particularly because it gave some bright, bright lines for our producers to decide, do I need to talk to EPA, or do I need to talk to the state regulatory agency.”


Voluntary Incentives are Better Than Regulation


Shawn Tiffany, President-Elect, Kansas Livestock Association: “Changes in practices, whether it’s adoption of new management strategies, are much better incentivized by education rather than regulation.”


Dan Meyerhoff, Executive Director, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts: “If we increase regulations and make things more stringent it’s going to hinder the voluntary conservation efforts that I think are very successful in here.”


The EPA Should Pause WOTUS Rulemaking While the Supreme Court Hears Sackett v. EPA


Gary Mason, Former Deputy Secretary for Environment, Kansas Department of Health and Environment: “If we write a rule now, finalize it, and then get the Sackett [v. EPA] ruling from the Supreme Court, we are just going to drag out this uncertainty. I think we are better off waiting until the Sackett decision is made and then move forward with a final rule.”


Cattle Producers of All Sizes Care About the Environment


Shawn Tiffany, President-Elect, Kansas Livestock Association: “There is a misconception that [cattle feeders] don’t care about the environment, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact that my operation is large only means that my stewardship mindset impacts more acres.”


NCBA PERSPECTIVE ON THE ROUNDTABLE


Mary-Thomas Hart, Environmental Counsel, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: “Cattle producers are grateful for the opportunity to share their perspective on WOTUS and explain how rules crafted in Washington will impact the daily operations of farms and ranches across the country. To be successful in their operations, cattle producers need a clear, limited WOTUS definition that finally provides much-needed certainty after years of shifting rules.”

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