13 July 2000
Kansas Farm Bureau Takes Issue With EPA Plan
From Kansas Farm Bureau

Your private pond or lake could be under EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) control if a proposed rule goes into effect, and the
control would bypass any authority by the state of Kansas.
“This process is so ill-conceived it’s actually amazing,” Stan Ahlerich,
Kansas Farm Bureau president, said.  “The proposal is not only a states’
rights issue, it is certainly a private property rights issue.”
The concern is over a recently proposed rule published in the Federal
Register during the July 4th holiday.  The rule would bring more than
1400 Kansas streams under federal guidelines for swimming, even though
most of the streams have little or no water flowing in them.  The streams
are currently designated secondary streams for non-contact recreation.

The rule also brings private waters under the guidelines, whether the
waters were ever intended for swimming or not.
“This rule is so far-reaching it appears the EPA plan is to have regulators
entering private property to make sure any surface water meets its
swimming guidelines,” Ahlerich said.  “This affects not only farmers and
ranchers, but urban private waters as well.  I don’t know of anyone who
isn’t for improving water quality, but this type of high-handed
government action is unwarranted.”
Ahlerich praised Kansas Gov. Bill Graves for his statement of concern
about the issue, and joined the governor in noting that Kansas is a state
that has made substantial progress toward improving water quality,
including major initiatives of increased monitoring and innovative land
management practices.

A public hearing on the issue is planned in Topeka on July 27, just 24
days following publication in the Federal Register.  Ahlerich says the
time frame is suspect because of the busy season for farmers and
“The normal time frame for notification of a public hearing is at least 45
days,” said Ahlerich.  “The EPA is not even following their own
guidelines, nor have they provided competent data on costs.  What’s the
big rush?”
The Farm Bureau leader questioned EPA’s assertion the cost would be
“They’re going to bring 1,400 streams and private waters into a primary
system to be monitored and not expect tremendous costs?”  Ahlerich said.
“There could be major tax ramifications for citizens because the state of
Kansas would have to implement the federal rule.”

Among other activities, Farm Bureau and others have asked for an
extension of the date for a public hearing and an additional venue in
western Kansas. While in Washington, D.C., the KFB president will also
hand deliver a letter co-signed by Kansas Department of Health and
Environment Secretary Clyde Graeber and Agriculture Secretary Jamie
Clover-Adams to the Kansas congressional delegation also asking for the