U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt addressed more than 300 members of the Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Alabama farm bureau groups on Wednesday.
“I am committed to providing America’s farmers with the transparency and regulatory certainty they deserve from Washington (D.C.),” Pruitt told those in attendance. “EPA is working with our nation’s first environmentalists as partners to preserve and steward our natural resources while supporting local economies.”
In his remarks, Pruitt expounded on the agency’s role in American agriculture, including the decision to begin the process of redefining the “waters of the U.S.” rule, which will provide regulatory certainty for farmers and ranchers and prioritize keeping America’s water clean. He also discussed EPA’s outreach to states and the continued efforts to engage in cooperative federalism on issues affecting farmers and ranchers.
Finally, Pruitt reiterated his continued commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard and announced that the agency is on track to meet the Nov. 30 statutory deadline for issuing the annual renewable volume obligations.
Missouri Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst said, “Missouri farmers and ranchers appreciate having an EPA administrator who recognizes the role agriculture plays in protecting our environment. Administrator Pruitt is willing to work with the people on the front lines instead of against them. This is a welcome change, and we look forward to making progress on environmental policy with his team.”
John DeLoach, a young farmer representing the Alabama Farmers Federation, said he grew up in a farming family, and the importance of caring for the land and water resources was instilled in him from a very young age. “I appreciate the new direction Administrator Pruitt is taking the EPA and the outreach that has been made to the farming community,” DeLoach said. “It is encouraging to see the agency working with, rather than against, our nations’ farmers in carrying out their mission.”
Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill noted that the bureau welcomed "Pruitt meeting with our members and sharing his vision for America’s farmers and ranchers. We appreciate Administrator Pruitt’s support on critical issues such as rescinding the waters of the U.S. rule and recognizing farmers and ranchers as partners in conservation and environmental stewardship.”
Ohio Farm Bureau president Frank Burkett III also expressed appreciation to Pruitt for his willingness to listen to the concerns of Ohio farmers. "He shares farm bureau’s belief that protecting the environment and farming profitably are not exclusive of one another. We appreciate that he chose to spend valuable time with us,” Burkett said.