The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new expansions to the Clean Water Act continue to be met with a mixture of praise and opposition, this time in Wyoming. Those in opposition to the regulations see the EPA's newest interpretation, which broadens the scope of what counts as a waterway and what the organization can manage under its jurisdiction, as giving the federal government too much power.
"This is probably the biggest change that I can recollect the federal government has put in place in terms of regulations," argued Brett Moline, a director at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. "Because anywhere that has water running through it is now going to be under the control of the federal government."
Other members of Wyoming's agricultural industry agree with Moline, fearing that, since their farmland is irrigated, the EPA has full reign over their property.
According to Amber Wilson, an environmental quality advocate with the Wyoming Outdoor Council, however, their response is an overreaction that incorrectly interprets how the Clean Water Act operates.
She claims that the agricultural sector is exempt to the majority of the Clean Water Act, and that nothing will actually change for the farmers in question. She went on to say that because Wyoming is a headwater state—that is, its waters flow downstream to other sources—it's "imperative" that the waters are protected, and that the EPA's new regulations are going to do just that.
Because of how rapidly they can change, staying on top of and following EPA regulations can be difficult and time consuming. Hiring environmental consultants can help you better understand the latest trends and regulations, as well as find quick and cost effective ways to adjust your business to meet them.