It is a forgone conclusion that, when the Trump administration takes office in January, there will be some big changes at the EPA. As a result, the agency is pushing as many new regulations out the door as possible before January 20. Paul Schlagle, with the American Farm Bureau Federation, says this is a cause for alarm, “There is a real sense of apprehension, and they are trying to put as much in the pipeline as they can before the change in administration.”
The most recent rule would place extra pesticide training and compliance requirements on farmers and state agencies. AFBF and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture have petitioned EPA chief Gina McCarthy to delay another farmworker safety rule, claiming it violates federal law and there’s not enough time to implement it by the effective January 1 start date. Schlagle says Farm Bureau is asking the new Congress to take a look at these new regulations and perhaps act to repeal them, “We, Farm Bureau, have been encouraging – very strongly – Congress to take up the issue because our experience with the Waters of the U.S., the WOTUS rule making, shows us that we need to have changes in the system to make sure that stakeholders like farmers and ranchers are protected when these rulemakings take place.”
It is also likely President-elect Trump may address some of these rules on the day he takes office. “We’re hopeful there will be a little bit of a change in perspective at EPA in terms of how they are looking at reregistration of pesticides, so there’s actually a number of things we want to see addressed,” Schlagle added.
Farm Bureau is hoping Congress will begin to review a large number of EPA rules, some going back several months.