Bryan Nichols, field representative for Sixth Congressional District Rep. Sam Graves, noted the change to the Waters of the United States rule by the Environmental Protection Agency, announced Dec. 11. The rule change, which passed into law as part of an omnibus bill in May, is still in its public comment period, which will end in early February.
The change excludes stormwater and return flow runoff from farms like row crop fields from being considered unlawful unless it negatively impacts public health, wildlife, or industry and agricultural uses.
“Congressman Graves participated in that announcement at the EPA, and we’re excited about that. It makes it much more clear, and we’re not going to regulate ditches and streams and things like that, that don’t need to be regulated,” Nichols said.
Graves is now the ranking member on the transportation and infrastructure committee, which means he is the top Republican on the committee in the now Democrat-controlled House. Graves will be the chief Republican crafting infrastructure bills, Nichols said.