Farmers concerned about proposed wetland rules

Farmers concerned about proposed wetland rules

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some farmers in Minnesota have expressed concern that new rules on how wetlands are protected will give federal regulators an expanded role on their fields.

Under Clean Water Act rules, farmers don’t currently need permits for things like cleaning a drainage ditch if they are following proper practices.

But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently decided to redefine which waters fall under federal jurisdiction.

Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap says farmers believe the change will create new regulatory burdens. He says he’s not opposed to regulation, but rules need to be clear.

EPA officials say they were surprised by farmers’ reactions. The agency sees the changes as pro-agriculture.

The EPA says it will continue talking with farmers before deciding its next steps.

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