U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt will meet with farmers in Plattsburg, Mo., Monday afternoon to discuss a pair of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations he says will have disastrous impact on the state.
Blunt says it's not just farmers but local officials concerned about changes the Environmental Protection Agency is considering to how it enforces the Clean Water Act.
The change would bring more waterways and streams under the EPA's jurisdiction over the objections of the American Farm Bureau.
"When the congress in the early 1970s said the EPA would have jurisdiction over 'navigable waters,' I'm confident that term, which had been used in federal law since the 1890s, didn't mean all the water that can run into all the water that can run into the water that could ever run into navigable water," says Blunt.
The EPA, meanwhile, maintains the new rule merely clarifies its existing authority to regulate streams, ponds and wetlands that flow into rivers.
Blunt's also critical of a new rule bringing the byproducts of coal-fired power plants under federal regulation the EPA approved Friday. The rule stops short of classifying coal ash as hazardous waste but is likely to drive up utility costs in states such as Missouri that are highly dependent on coal.
"The idea that there's some mythical utility company or big business that's going to absorb the incredible cost of these utility bills, the people who will be hurt the most are the ones who can barely pay their utility bill now," Blunt says.
Blunt says he's worried the new EPA rule will push energy production to countries with less oversight of coal-fired plants.