U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler kicked off his swing through Georgia on May 27 by highlighting the critical role agriculture plays in society and well-being at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Ga. Wheeler was joined by Georgia agriculture commissioner Gary Black as well as EPA Region 4 administrator Mary Walker.
“American farmers, ranchers and everyone in the food supply chain are working tirelessly to keep products available across the country,” Wheeler said. “As America works to regain some normalcy over the next several weeks, EPA will work with the ag community to support the supply chain, with as little disruption as possible.”
During the event, Wheeler highlighted the important partnership between EPA and the agricultural community. This collaboration has led to achievements such as the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which provided greater clarity for states and landowners, especially farmers, who have suffered for a generation with uncertainty over the definition of navigable waters.
“EPA is proud of our work supporting the agricultural community across the Southeast, where nearly a third of the land is in agricultural production,” Walker said. “Agriculture is ranked as one of the top industries in every Region 4 state, and our efforts to provide more certainty to the agricultural community helps them continue to grow food, fiber and other products while protecting the environment.”
“We are grateful for our relationship with Administrator Wheeler and appreciate the agency's efforts in addressing issues that are important to our farmers. We look forward to continued collaboration between our agricultural community and federal agencies in the future,” Black said.
“We are grateful that Administrator Wheeler has once again chosen to visit our state to meet with farmers and agriculture stakeholders to discuss the agency’s regulatory efforts and the needs of our industry,” Georgia Farm Bureau president Gerald Long added. “The regulatory approach EPA has taken in recent years under the leadership of President [Donald] Trump and Administrator Wheeler has been refreshing for Georgia farmers, and we look forward to continuing this important partnership as the agency moves ahead on issues like implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which defines waters of the United States, and pesticide reviews and registrations, among other things.”