Proposed EPA regulations have area farmers worried - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Proposed EPA regulations have area farmers worried

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PRINCETON, W. Va (WVVA)-- West Virginia farmers are upset about a new proposed change to the part of the clean water act that deals with protected waters.

The EPA hopes to clarify which waters are protected under the act in order to prevent pollution into major waterways.

West Virginia Farm Bureau members tell us that won't be good for them, because often water can pool on mountainous farmland after heavy rainstorms. They fear their right to farm the land surrounding those problem spots, including allowing cattle to graze, fertilizing, or putting up fencing. would be compromised.

"We are stewards of the land. We want clean water, but we don't want our hands tied where we can not farm the land," said Frank Nash, President of the Mercer County Farm Bureau.

Nash is a 5th generation farmer, and he owns a farming supply store in Princeton. He currently sits on the board for the WV Farm Bureau.

"We'll have restrictions where we will need a permit to build a fence, to put down fertilizer," he claimed.

But the EPS says the proposal will not expand the regulation for ditches, and would continue to exclude agricultural storm water drainage and temporary pooling at construction sites.

(To view the full text of the proposal, click here. More information can also be found at this link.)

Public comment on the proposed changes ends on July 21.

The Mercer County Farm Bureau is holding a public meeting at the 4H building on June 6th at 6:30 PM to discuss their concerns and provide information to other area farmers.

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