Navigate Common Sense and Ditch the Rule

A couple of weeks ago the rain started early one Sunday morning and did not let up until almost noon. It was a rain like we had not had in a long time (I am sorry for my drought-stricken friends, this may be a little hard to read). It was a great rain, it came down steadily and the dry ground really soaked it up. I believe (and it is only a guess since yours truly did not remember to take in his rain gauge last fall), that we received about three inches of rain.

Even though the rain came fairly slowly it still saturated the soil and because of that water started to run off. Soon there was a nice little stream running down the hillside by my house and down the road. The inner child in me wanted to put my boots on, grab a toy boat and float it down the very temporary stream. Then I realized that would be a very bad idea.

Sailboat ditch
Why would that be a bad idea? It would only prove that my little temporary stream was navigable on some level. The next logical question would be who cares? Well, apparently the EPA and the Corp of Engineers in all of their glorious wisdom and endless red tape care. Under a new proposed rule, the EPA and the Corp of Engineers would like to declare my little raging river of 15 minutes part of the “Waters of the U.S.”

Why is this a problem? This proposed new rule would declare almost every puddle, temporary stream, ditch, diversion or any other water hole part of the “Waters of the U.S.” and there is the problem. As part of the “Waters of the U.S.” almost every piece of land we farm or ranch would come under the regulation of the EPA and Corp of Engineers. Normal farming activities such as fence building, spraying and tillage could need a permit before they could be completed.

I don’t know about you, but I can only imagine the red tape and the waiting period that would come with any EPA or Corp of Engineers permit (not to mention cost). We all know what kind of time we have to wait around during the spring, the weather is usually nice and we have plenty of time to get things done. No, we are usually on a tight time frame in between weather systems and we cannot be delayed. Don’t overlook the fact that if we have to apply for a permit, it gives these two governmental agencies the ability to control how we farm and ranch.

In fairness, the EPA says that it will not bother us and that this rule is only meant to cover just a very few acres. Maybe they are telling the truth, but is this a chance you want to take? We live in a time when the increasing weight of federal government oversight makes it harder and harder to do our jobs and grow the food that even bureaucrats need. Another side of this issue that makes me just as nervous is the fact that the proposed new rule did not come down from Congress. This is something the EPA and the Corp of Engineers created to take more control away from local and state agencies. Our elected officials are almost powerless to change this rule. I don’t think this is how it is supposed to work.

We do have a chance to voice our opinions on this proposed new rule but the time is getting short.

We have until July 21 to go to the EPA and comment. Please, before you do this, do some research and make sure you have all the facts, don’t take my word, read the information and make up your own mind. Information is easy to find, and I am sure you have already heard and read quite a bit about this. Folks, if there was ever a time to take action, it is now.

Go to and make your voice heard!

I fear the noose of regulation will keep getting tighter and tighter and all of this in a time when we need to be more productive than we have ever been in agriculture. We know how to best care for the land and water we depend on and we need to be able to make those decisions on our own farms and in a timely manner. Let’s all let the EPA and Corps know that their boat just won’t float and to ditch the rule.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer. He previously served on the national AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and is a graduate of the Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL) program.

5 thoughts on “Navigate Common Sense and Ditch the Rule


    Have the EPA and the Core of Engineers now become controlled by the European style Socialists?
    This kind of [ stuff ], is the exact reason our forefathers left Europe, and risked their Lives and Fortunes to remove themselves and us from these kind of despots ! Now we have them here and they will say and do anything to gain control of our lives our property our Fortunes and our God Given Rights to FREEDOM.
    I Detest and Abhor that kind of mentality, the Man, and the so called “Laws that attempt to
    impose upon the People of this great Country! Shame on them and those like them world wide.

  2. Robert Marion

    I want the EPA to not pass the ditch rule. It would be a hardship on a small farmer like I am.

  3. Dorothy Jeanblanc

    I object strongly to the excess powers that the EPA is helping itself to. Who is authorizing this and who is signing their paychecks? I assume they are considered employees of the taxpayers and, as such, should have the welfare of the humans as well as the ecology as their prime concern. Are there any farmers (guardians of the land!) involved in constructing these EPA rules? They (the farmers) have the responsibility for feeding all of us and protecting the precious land that must produce most of the food.we eat.
    I appreciate the fact that the EPA is meant to be protecting our land and resources. But, I believe this is a bare-faced attempt by the EPA to grab unelected power bypassing Congress and all elected representatives of the people,
    I repeat: DITCH THE RULE.

  4. leonard wright

    this proposed rule is totally rediculous and goes beyond reasonableness. shame on the epa and the corps of engineers for even trying to set forth a supercillious rule that is probably not enforceable. shame also on that foreign exchange student, aka, POTUS who can’t seem to manage anything, especially the idiots he has appointed to his cabinet.

  5. Athearns

    Thank you for taking a stand and we as our Americans are with you . Thank you for sharing with us and others . God bless you and your family and we will put your in our prayers . God bless you!

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