Counties and Towns Unite with NY Farmers

In a strong show of support for farmers in this state and their own taxpayers, 35 counties and 17 towns in New York have passed strongly worded resolutions asking the Environmental Protection Agency to withdrawal its proposal to expand the definition of Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

New York Farm Bureau has challenged the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on its proposed rule changes that we believe is an overreach of the CWA. The confusing and vague language in the new definition opens up the potential for dry land and ditches to now be considered federally controlled waters. The bureaucratic nightmare and costly permitting process that this would create would not only impact agriculture across this state but also local taxpayers and homeowners who would be subject to additional federal regulations, permits and expensive fines.

In response, the large number of county and town resolutions opposing this effort has been forwarded to the EPA. The EPA is currently accepting comments on the matter through October 20. The attached cover letter from New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton reads in part:

“Our municipalities are already doing so much with the limited resources they have and we believe unwarranted additional costs and permitting burdens will further undermine our rural infrastructure and the viability of our communities. Clean water is a priority of our farms and municipalities alike; we all use this water and the futures of our businesses and communities depend on safe, clean water. However, it is a general consensus that this regulation does not provide the clarity your agencies purport and is a broad overreach of the intent of the Clean Water Act. Here in New York, our state Department of Environmental Conservation provides a strong water quality program and works together with the state department of Agriculture and Markets and our farms to safeguard and constantly improve the water resources of our state.”

New York Farm Bureau has also released a new video highlighting the real concerns farmers have about the EPA’s potential land grab. You may view the youtube video.

Additional information and a link to comment on the proposed rule changes can be found at the "Ditch the Rule" web page. 

New York Municipal Resolutions opposing the Clean Water Act Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers (as of September 22, 2014):

  • Allegany County Board of Legislators
  • Cattaraugus County Legislature
  • Broome County Legislature
  • Chemung County Legislature
  • Chenango County Board of Supervisors
  • Clinton County Legislature
  • Cortland County Legislature
  • Delaware County Board of Supervisors
  • Essex County Board of Supervisors
  • Franklin County Legislature
  • Fulton County Board of Supervisors
  • Genesee County Legislature
  • Greene County Legislature
  • Herkimer County Legislature
  • Jefferson County Board of Legislators
  • Lewis County Board of Legislators
  • Livingston County Board of Supervisors
  • Madison County Board of Supervisors
  • Monroe County Legislature
  • Niagara County Legislature
  • Oneida County Board of Legislators
  • Ontario County Board of Supervisors
  • Orange County Legislature
  • Orleans County Legislature
  • Oswego County Legislature
  • Rensselaer County Legislature
  • Saint Lawrence County Board of Legislators
  • Schoharie County Board of Supervisors
  • Schuyler County Legislature
  • Sullivan County Legislature
  • Tioga County Legislature
  • Washington County Board of Supervisors
  • Wayne County Board of Supervisors
  • Wyoming County Board of Supervisors
  • Yates County Legislature
  • Town of Ira (Cayuga County)
  • Town of Van Etten (Chemung County)
  • Town of Livingston (Columbia County)
  • Town of Colchester (Delaware County)
  • Town of Deposit (Delaware County)
  • Town of Kortright (Delaware County)
  • Town of Masonville (Delaware County)
  • Town of Stamford (Delaware County)
  • Town of Walton (Delaware County)
  • Town of Denmark (Lewis County)
  • Town of Richmond (Ontario County)
  • Town of Delaware (Sullivan County)
  • Town of Neversink (Sullivan County)
  • Town of Thompson (Sullivan County)
  • Town of Butler (Wayne County)
  • Town of Ontario (Wayne County)
  • Town of Walworth (Wayne County)
  • Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Chemung County Stormwater Coalition
  • Chemung County Water Quality Committee