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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

The American Farm Bureau Federation is countering statements by an EPA official on the proposed water rule of the Clean Water Act.

Farm Bureau Congressional Relations Director Mary Kay Thatcher tells Brownfield Ag News the AFBF has given that document to members of Congress. She said, "We put out a lengthy paper, sort of doing a point-counter-point on 'they say this' but here's the exact language out of the 350 page rule that we think proves exactly the opposite. So, we have great concern about this."

Thatcher says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's public relations campaign raises even more concerns because the AFBF believes McCarthy did more talking than listening to farmers.

Thatcher said, "We just think there's a HUGE disconnect between what EPA thinks they're doing and the real effect of what it'll have in the country and we think that was very well highlighted with her trip to Kansas and Missouri and also in the webinar that EPA did earlier this week where they tried to explain their position."

Thatcher says this is the biggest issue in agriculture and farmers need to weigh in during the public comment period on the rule.

She said, "It's a hard issue to get your arms around for a farmer but it's not one we can ignore. We absolutely have to have your input to members of Congress and to EPA if we're going to win on this issue."

Thatcher says the House transportation committee voted this week not to let the rule move forward and the House environment committee voted not to fund the rule. Thatcher says that should send a message to the EPA.

Thatcher spoke with Brownfield at the Kansas City AgriBusiness Council meeting on "big data" on Thursday.

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