Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks held an informal press availability at the Farm Progress Show on Wednesday to mainly talk about the proposed Waters of the United States rule. He stressed the point that has been made by other officials that the rule exempts all normal farming practices that are currently exempt.
“If you did not need a permit from the (Army) Corps (of Engineers) or the EPA before this rule becomes final, you will not need a permit from these agencies after it becomes final,” said Brooks. He admits that the so-called “interpretive rule” part of the proposal needs some work. “From the get-go that was not well explained and has not been well understood. I’m fairly sure that the agencies will take another look at that.”
Brooks knew nothing about the maps released by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Wednesday which reportedly appear to detail the extent of EPA’s “Waters of the United States” proposal, but he said the final rule will be dependent on the results of an independent scientific review. “We know we need to have the science firm before we make the law to follow the science,” he said. EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks