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No date set for new Waters of the USDA rule

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 10:20 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The Biden Administration is planning to release a new Waters of the USA rule but Environmental Protection Agency officials say they don’t have a definite date for the new rules yet. Administration officials say they need to put a new rule in place because the Trump Administrations rollback of the Obama era rule is leading to significant environmental degradation of water quality around the country. But many industries, including agriculture, are worried a new Biden Rule would place too many restrictions on farming, fracking, home building and other industries and are calling the unseen rule a private land grab.

EPA officials also said last week they plan to release their proposals for how much renewable fuels they want included in the Renewable Fuels Standards for 2023 and beyond by this July. They hope that means a final rule can be in place by December of 2022. Those proposals would include volumes of cellulosic biofuels, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuels for the future.

Farm Service Agency officials have set the dates for sign-up for 2 of their most popular conservation programs. Farmers and other landowners will have until July 23rd to sign-up for the Conservation Rese4ve program with sign-up for the Grasslands Reserve program running from July 12th through August 20th. Both sign-ups are competitive and the Farm Service Agency is providing more incentives for landowners for increasing conservation benefits, like reducing the impacts of climate change. The CRP began back in 1985 and is now one of the largest voluntary private land conservation programs in the country.

The Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents recently handed out their annual awards and recognition with many agents from this area being recognized for their professional programming. Katy Wantoch, county agent in Dunn County, was recognized for her audio recording and personal column and also received the Search for Excellence Award for her work with Young, Beginning and Small farmers and for her efforts with Sustainable Agriculture education. Ryan Steery of St. Croix County received a Distinguished Service Award for agents with more than 10 years in Extension and Lyssa Seefeldt of Eau Claire took home an Achievement Award for her outreach work. And retired Barron County Agent Don Drost was named to the 2021 class for the Extension Hall of Fame.

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