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Greitens Comments on Costly Proposed EPA Rule
Missouri Ag Connection - 01/10/2018

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens submitted a comment to the Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed federal rule, "Water Quality Standards for the State of Missouri's Lakes and Reservoirs." The comment thanked EPA Administrator Pruitt for the opportunity to comment on the nutritient criteria for Missouri.

"Right now, the EPA is considering a proposed federal rule that would severely hurt Missouri's families, farmers, cities, and businesses. You have been tasked with slowing the growth of algae. The proposed rule might do that. It would also hurt Missouri families and raise their sewer bills. There's a better way," Greitens wrote in a letter to Pruitt.

The EPA's proposed rule will cost Missourians an estimated $1.7 billion as a result of initial lake impairments, Greitens estimated. "That cost gets passed on to families on their sewer bills. It's been estimated that this would affect about 500,000 Missouri families. It would cost them each almost $3,500.

Greitens said he and other state politicians have developed a different option.

"Missouri's Department of Natural Resources gathered 20 years of Missouri-specific lake data and worked with farmers, cities, university scientists, and others to design a rule that ensures clean water and protects the environment--without costing Missouri families hundreds of dollars. Our rule would cost 95% less than the EPA's rule, and allow the state of Missouri to watch over our lakes--not the federal government," the governor wrote.

The move drew praise from leaders across Missouri.

"Governor Greitens is absolutely correct in seeking a Missouri solution on this issue. This is simply a request for commonsense and science to prevail over environmental extremism," said Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau president

"This is an example of Missourians coming together to find a solution that works for our state. Governor Greitens and his team, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Director Comer, have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work with us on addressing these overburdensome Obama-era regulations and proposals. We anticipate this being the first of many steps rolling back burdensome regulations affecting not only Missouri farmers, but all Missourians. We appreciate this sign of partnership, and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the EPA approves this Missouri plan -- saving Missourians millions of dollars," said Gary Wheeler, Executive Director of the Missouri Soybean Association.

"The Missouri Corn Growers Association applauds the hard work of Gov. Greitens and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for crafting a rule that fits our state," says Kyle Kirby, Missouri Corn Growers Association president and corn farmer from Barton County. "Missouri has developed a plan using state-specific data. EPA needs to recognize this Missouri rule is the best option for our state, our citizens and our farmers."

"The Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities applauds Governor Eric Greitens' call today for the U.S. EPA to stand down on its one-size-fits-all regulations that establish nutrient criteria for Missouri's lakes and reservoirs. Instead, the Governor is recommending an approach that achieves the goal without overburdensome costs to utility ratepayers -- an approach supported by more than 20 years of Missouri-specific data. Missouri's municipal utilities join Governor Greitens in urging the EPA to adopt Missouri's rule to protect our state's waters," said Ewell Lawson, spokesman for the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.

"Missourians can protect our own resources. Not only is the science that underpins the more costly rule wrong, it would hurt hundreds of thousands of Missouri families," said Don Nikodim, Missouri Pork Association executive director

Missourians can join the Governor in submitting comments to the EPA. The EPA must receive comments by Feb. 26. Comments may be submitted online. The EPA is holding online public hearings on Feb. 7 and 8. Details and registration information for the public hearings may be obtained online.

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