EPA Drops Appeal Of Stormwater Runoff Ruling


http://www.nfib.com/article/bnews-epa-drops-appeal-of-stormwater-runoff-ruling-66617/?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Analysis&utm_content=RSS

Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to drop its appeal of an October 2013 Federal court ruling in favor a West Virginia farmer. EPA unsuccessfully tried to make the case that it has the power to regulate stormwater runoff from livestock or poultry farms, claiming the Clean Water Act allows it to make rules regarding “concentrated animal feeding operations.” The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled otherwise. Following last week’s announcement, American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said, “EPA knows its effort to regulate perfectly well-run farms cannot withstand legal scrutiny, and the agency doesn’t quite know how to deal with that.”

Earlier this month the House of Representatives passed legislation that explicitly prohibits the EPA from further expanding its authority under the Clean Water Act to cover anything but lakes, rivers and streams. That bill was sponsored by Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida.

Why This Matters For Small Business.

While the ruling the EPA had been appealing dealt with farms, had the agency been victorious, there is little doubt that other types of small businesses would have come under the regulatory microscope regarding their treatment of storm water. And the American Farm Bureau is warning that the EPA will continue its attempts to broaden the scope of its oversight even after being dealt a defeat in the courts.

Further Reading.

In an op-ed for The Hill, Sen. David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, who has joined with Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, to introduce the Regulatory Fairness Act of 2014, says there is bipartisan support for prohibiting the EPA “from preemptively or retroactively vetoing Clean Water Act permits without just cause.” The American Farm Bureau drew attention to the EPA’s decision not pursue its case against the West Virginia farmer with fines as high as $37,000 a day, and the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail covered the House passage of the bill aimed at limiting the EPA’s power to regulate American farmers.Related:

Small business owners are rightly concerned about the broad effect the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations are having on their bottom lines. Find NFIB policy updates and analysis to understand what matters to small businesses nationally and on the state level.

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