Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: H.R. 2018 Prevents More EPA Overreach
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Steve Southerland discusses the importance of H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. This legislation, which will be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this week, is designed to protect states from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposing unnecessary federal standards on states for water quality under the Clean Water Act (CWA). By imposing a federal standard, the EPA undermines the intent of the CWA to allow states to determine their own specific standards. H.R. 2018 keeps in check the EPA and ensures the proper federal-state regulatory balance to prevent unnecessary economic harm to small businesses, family farmers, and local governments.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Hi, this is Representative Steve Southerland from Florida’s Second Congressional District.
"The Clean Water Act (CWA) created a partnership between states and the federal government to keep our waterways healthy.
"However, the EPA has repeatedly tried to impose federal standards on individual states. In Florida, the EPA imposed an unachievable, ‘one-size-fits-all,’ standard for water nutrients that ignores the economic concerns of our small businesses, family farmers, and local government.
"This could cost Florida alone more than 14,000 jobs and threaten agriculture production. While the EPA has only targeted Florida with these job-killing regulations, it’s apparent that the current administration wants to take this policy nationwide.
"That is why I am cosponsoring House Resolution 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011. This bill, which will be considered on the house floor this week, restores the balance between the states and the EPA as co-regulators under the Clean Water Act. States and local governments are dependent upon Congress to remove regulatory road blocks to economic growth and job creation in local communities while protecting our vast natural resources."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.