As for national regulatory battles, the public comment period is open through Oct. 20 for the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule under the Clean Water Act. “If you haven’t already lodged a complaint about that rule, please do so. The EPA is trying to expand their regulatory authority to go beyond the traditional scope.”

Also speaking at the meeting, Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford said he wouldn’t be surprised if the comment period for the proposed rule is extended. He also laid out his opposition to the rule.

“I don’t think federal agencies should be allowed to comment during a public comment period,” said Crawford. “I believe they do this because federal agencies use other federal agencies to buttress their argument. … I’ve asked directly if more weight is given to a federal agency during a public comment period than from the public. I believe there is and (the agencies) can’t refute that.”

EPA/Corps/NRCS alliance spells trouble for farmers, Rep. Crawford says

Another point of contention centers around a Supreme Court opinion -- not a ruling -- that stated if the federal government can demonstrate a body of water has a “significant nexus” to a regulated waterway then it too can be regulated.

“I’m almost certain that you can demonstrate interconnectivity with virtually any water to a regulated waterway,” said Crawford. “There’s so much ambiguity and subjectivity. And they’re basing the entire expansion on ‘significant nexus?’”

Crawford brought up the example of a swimming pool that, following major rainfall, overflows and eventually drains into a regulated river. Provided with the scenario, government officials have told the lawmaker that swimming pools are exempt under the rule.

“Well, swimming pools are exempt as long as they haven’t spilled their banks,” said Crawford. The officials “can’t and won’t clarify their position on that. Is that example a huge stretch? Maybe, maybe not.

“Have you got a tail-water recovery system on your farm? A stock pond? Those are designed to overflow by design. Where does the government authority stop? I don’t think they have any intention of having” a limit. “Waterways of the U.S. is a gross overreach.”