EPA Administrator Avoids Questions on Agricultural Roundtable, Abruptly Leaves NDSU
Governor Burgum, Senator Hoeven and Congressman Cramer joined EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, in a private discussion behind closed doors about water, agriculture and energy
FARGO, ND — North Dakota state officials met with the Administrator of the EPA for an agricultural roundtable to express the need to make federal rules more cost–effective.
Governor Burgum, Senator Hoeven and Congressman Cramer joined EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, in a private discussion behind closed doors about water, agriculture and energy.
Some of the state’s politicians are encouraging Pruitt to continue the cooperative approach on these topics between the state and federal government.
“We not only protect the environment, but we have the flexibility to make sure that we work with our farmers our ranchers and with our energy industry,” Sen. Hoeven said.
While it sounds like the meeting was successful, the roundtable that was scheduled to follow did not go as planned.
Members of the media waited outside of the doors of the meeting to hear what happened, but the administrator of the EPA left without saying a word.
The EPA released a statement for the reason Pruitt left so abruptly.
They stated it was because of his tight schedule and he wanted to talk to North Dakotans about protecting the environment.
“The meeting was closed out of respect for the wishes of the administration,” Gov. Burgum said.
Senator John Hoeven said he wants to continue his efforts to reduce the regulatory burden for agriculture producers, by stopping the Waters of the U.S. Rule.
“If you’re having a wet year you farm around them and if you’re having a dry year it’s the only place you get a crop,” Gov. Burgum said.
North Dakota officials are stressing the importance of recognizing that states have unique water features.
“The role of the states recognizing that we’ve got a big diverse country and one size does not fit all,” Sen. Hoeven said.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp shared her opinion on concerns with Waters of the U.S., issuing a statement that reads:
“When flying over North Dakota, you can clearly see all the prairie potholes and real bodies of water, reinforcing how this rule just doesn’t make sense for our state. And I’m sure administrator Pruitt saw that for himself during his visit.”
The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently issued a proposal to restore the regulations that were in place prior to WOTUS.