Despite massive, vocal opposition from many quarters, the EPA’s Waterways of the U.S. proposed rule has yet to be pulled.
“The concern remains on the interpretation of the proposed rule," says Andrew Grobmyer, executive vice president of the Agricultural Council of Arkansas. "We keep hearing ‘agriculture will be exempt.’ But until that’s abundantly clear, we won’t be backing any rule with such ambiguity.”
What about the Arkansas Water Plan?
“The plan was completed at the end of 2014. We were able to squeeze out some good ideas during that process. Water is going to become a major focus for the state as it is in other states.
“During the current legislative session, we’ve been seeking opportunities to further incentivize some water conservation policies, but it’s likely we will have to wait until the next legislative session to take up those recommendations from the State Water Plan. We intend to work with Gov. Hutchinson and the legislature to advance what we know will help farmers conserve water and better utilize our abundant water resources while allowing them to remain profitable and productive. I know other farm groups and conservation groups will be working on that effort as well. We are optimistic that some good public policies will emerge from the water plan process.”