US: The key agricultural groups (Ag groups) have launched an interactive map that shows land likely to be regulated by the federal Clean Water Act under a proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Using U.S. Geologic Survey data, Columbia-based Geosyntec Consultants developed maps of 17 states showing regions that could fall under the jurisdiction of EPA and the Corps of Engineers if their "Waters of the United States" rule is finalized.
According to the Ag groups, the proposed rule would redefine "Waters of the United States" to include, among other water bodies, ephemeral and intermittent streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation.
In fact, the coverage areas would more than double in most of the 17 states, as per the group's analysis of the maps.
The groups feel that that the extended authority over new areas could require farmers in affected areas to take Clean Water Act discharge permits for usual farming practices such as applying fertilizer, planting crops and filling ditches.