Farmers’ Efforts Provide Strong Start to New Year – Dec. 23, 2013

By Erin Anthony, American Farm Bureau Federation

Congress is hardly any more predictable than the weather, but the legislative forecast for early 2014 looks pretty good to farmers and ranchers. Just like a bumper crop though, there’s a lot that’s been done over the past 12 months to get a farm bill and waterways infrastructure legislation well on the way to the president’s desk. 

The Senate took the lead with both the Water Resources Development Act and the farm bill, passing those bills in May and June, respectively. The House caught up a few months later, but its late-fall passage of the measures set the conference wheels in motion a little too late to finish work before Congress’ year-end adjournment. Lawmakers working on each of the bills are optimistic their measures will be enacted not too long after we ring in the new year. 


Appeal filed in Alt Lawsuit – December 23, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency and the environmental intervenors filed an appeal in the Lois Alt lawsuit on Friday, Dec. 20. The issue of Clean Water Act permit requirements for farmyard rainwater will now go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in October that contrary to EPA’s contention, ordinary stormwater from Alt’s farmyard is exempt from federal Clean Water Act permit requirements.


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