« Karl's Comments

Water, Water...

by Jeremy Lawrence

The way things have been going, with various tentacles of the federal government reaching into our private and semi-private lives, Im not surprised to find the federal Environmental Protection Agency is very active at levels far removed from U.S. Government direct concerns. I wonder if President Nixon, who created the EPA with an Executive Order - -

Did you know that Presidents prior to Barack Obama did that? - - and then, two years later, in 1972, came the Clean Water Act. All this was intended to clean up pollution in surface water. Well, look at us now.

Theres a relatively new proposal from EPA, which, if enacted, will change how waterways and other wet areas will be regulated, under the Clean Water Act. There are several people, and organizations in many of the states, and certainly Michigan is one of them, which have been very active in clean water legislation, and water conservation practices. We dont need, and in fact dont want, federally mandated standards, and standards-implementation directives. If they come, Id expect at lot of reinvention of good works weve already undertaken, and/or imposition of directives inappropriate or impractical here, just because Michigan, and the other Great Lakes States probably, have been favored by the Creator to the extent that its obvious what we need to do to preserve and protect - - and were doing it.

The word from EPA is, the proposed rule, does not affect long-standing exemptions in the Clean Water Act for farming, silviculture - - which is like forestry, only more so - - ranching, and other activities.

I get the feeling that a lot of Michigan farmers - - and probably those in neighboring states also - - are not all that confident of the EPA promises and protestations. As I say, we know what to do, and were doing it.

Anyway, a number of Farm Bureau County Presidents in Southwest Michigan have signed a letter addressed to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant.

That letter expresses appreciation for the effort of the director and Governor Snyder into organizing the Michigan Water Use Advisory Council, charged with recommending improvements and update to the science-based Water Withdrawal Assessment process in Michigan. Improvements and updates recommendations probably result from the fact that the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool has been with us since early in 2006. The WWAT comes into play prior to installation of a new or increased large quantity withdrawal of water, to determine the potential impact to nearby water resources.

Michigan is one of those places with Water, Water everywhere, including clean water to drink. And I dont think EPA had much, if anything to do with it.

Karl Guenther is a retired farm broadcaster at WKZO and can be reached at khguenther@charter.net . He is a member of Michigan Farm Bureau and an emeritus member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. (accompanying picture is a screen capture from YouTube)