Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Senate GOP EPA witch hunt hexed

Last year through the US Environmental Protection Agency the White House moved to more closely identify the sources of non-point pollution.
Senate Republicans charged Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relies too heavily on politics in its regulations and not enough on science.The accusation is one of the main reasons that the GOP is backing the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which would overhaul the membership and operation of the EPA’s main outside boards for scientific advice and for guidance on air pollution rules. The Obama administration has threatened to veto the House’s legislation. It has repeatedly said that the reforms are not necessary and would hamper the board’s important work. [The Hill]
South Dakota's Republican junior senator is chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee subpanel holding the hearing on the bill.

Politics is what happens when your own gored ox is added to the pork of congressional sausage-making.
The Obama administration is promising to rewrite its proposed Clean Water Act rule to ensure that farmers have clear guidance about what streams, ditches and ponds will be regulated. Speaking to the National Farmers Union annual convention in Wichita, Kansas, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the final rule is being prepared for White House review, and that the administration still intends to complete it this spring. Her remarks won't satisfy the Farm Bureau. Don Parrish, the group's senior director of regulatory affairs, noted that the administration hasn't committed to any changes in the definitions yet. “What constitutes ‘destroy and pollute' in EPA's eyes are different from what farmers might think,” he said. [Agri-Pulse]
A transcript of McCarthy's remarks are linked here.
The EPA argues it isn’t expanding its authority, just clarifying it, and that the change will protect the country’s water supply. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
This year South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation is stumbling all over itself trying to protect donors like Monsanto and Syngenta from their accountability for the state's impaired waters.

Concern over the further contamination of shallow aquifers that supply water to a third of East River has caused the Clay County Planning and Zoning Board to table for the second time in as many weeks changing the county ordinances governing Confined Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs.

South Dakota deserves better than a GOP congressional delegation protecting their donors instead of guarding safe water, food and shelter for families.

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