WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Farmers Fired Up Over Proposed EPA Rule Changes

Reported by: Send eMail Stefano DiPietrantonio
Reported: Jun. 16, 2014 11:15 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 17, 2014 9:18 AM EDT

Farmers Fired Up
Eyewitness News Photo

Sissonville , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Area farmers are fired up over some proposed new EPA rules that could greatly affect the way they operate on their own land.

A group of farmers met with Steve Butler from the State Farm Bureau Monday night in Sissonville to talk about the potential problems, if they don’t act now to stop the proposed changes.

For starters, Butler said any place water collects or runs through a property, for example, after a storm would now fall under federal jurisdiction, under the Waters of the United States, which is part of the Clean Water Act of 1972. Farming is already a tough life for some here in West Virginia, and farmers are worried these rules could make it a permitting nightmare for them.

It’s a battle for control over water between farmers and the EPA.

"Basically they're claiming, anywhere where water flows, stands or pools, any time of the year, they have control over that land," said Butler, who added the proposal broadens the EPA's rule, forcing farmers to get permits for their own lands. Permits that could be given or denied.

"Everybody should be concerned about it, not only farmers, but also home builders, coal miners, timber operators. It affects all land users, not just farmers," Butler said.

Even though there is no water in a ditch pictured in Butler’s presentation, if a farmer were to spread manure or chemicals on the land around it after a storm, water could flow through it, so a farmer would have to get a permit.

"All right, so let's say you have an emergency on your property, you don't have time to get a permit, you've got to take care of that situation right now, what are you going to do?,” Eyewitness News asked farmer Sharon LaDriere. “Well, you're gonna be fined if you don't have the permits," she said.

LaDriere acknowledges she is worried, but said the time to fight is now.

"It's much better to stop something before it starts, than to try and change it after it's been enacted," she said.

"You've got to do what you've got to do at the moment, and then deal with the consequences afterwards," said her husband, Allen LaDriere.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 gave the EPA control of navigable streams. Now they are trying to clarify the rule by regulating ephemeral streams, which typically develop then disappear after a heavy rainfall.

"To try to stop us from doing almost anything with our property and what is happening is going far, far beyond farming," said LaDriere, who is “hot” about being told what to do on his own property.

"It's your land,” Eyewitness News said. “That's what we're here for. They shouldn't. Plain and simple, they should not," LaDriere said.

The Farm Bureau has until October to get as much public comment as it can on this issue. There are about 68,000 comments right now, Butler said, with the majority being “for” the proposal. There is a petition here.

If it passes, farmers said food prices, among other expenses, will soar.

West Nile Found In Cabell Mosquitoes
Aug. 20, 2014 11:48 PM EDT
The West Nile Virus has been detected in the West Virginia ...
Full News Story

Police Looking For Men Accused Of Robbing Pizza Delivery Driver
Aug. 20, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
Charleston police are investigating after a pizza delivery ...
Full News Story

Putnam County Man Convicted of Rape; Says He is Innocent
Aug. 20, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
Back in court, Joseph Lavigne Jr. was hoping for two ...
Full News Story and Video

News Early Morning Car Burglaries in Putnam County
Aug. 20, 2014 10:15 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Continue Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign
Aug. 20, 2014 9:11 PM EDT
News Police Say At Least One Person Breaks Into Pharmacy, Steals Prescription Drugs
Aug. 20, 2014 9:01 PM EDT
News Capito, Tennant To Compete In Chamber Senate Forum
Aug. 20, 2014 8:47 PM EDT
News Mom Facing Charges After Kicking Son Out Of Car, Leaving Him to Walk Home
Aug. 20, 2014 8:31 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman's Son
Aug. 20, 2014 8:58 PM EDT
News Dog Saves Owners' Lives
Aug. 20, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News State Mine Board To Decide On Kanawha State Forest Mine
Aug. 20, 2014 6:11 PM EDT
News Jury Rules In Case Involving Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin
Aug. 20, 2014 9:16 PM EDT
News Five Arrested In Franklin Furnace; Linked To Stolen Property Cases In The Area
Aug. 20, 2014 5:06 PM EDT
News WVAW Issues Boil Water Advisory For 75 Customers In Barboursville
Aug. 20, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
News Firefighters Say Residential Fire Started In Heat Fan
Aug. 20, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News Police Say Man Arrested In Calhoun County Is Wanted In Maryland
Aug. 20, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Man Arrested In Connection To Drug Offenses During Traffic Stop
Aug. 20, 2014 7:05 PM EDT
News Second Arrest Made In Eastern KY Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 7:01 PM EDT
News YMCA Honors Former WV Governor
Aug. 20, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
News Health Officials Say Two Ohioans Have West Nile Virus
Aug. 20, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News MU Welcomes Incoming Students
Aug. 20, 2014 9:57 PM EDT
News Victim's Name Released In Jackson County Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 8:29 PM EDT
News New Elementary School Opens In Jackson County
Aug. 20, 2014 1:36 PM EDT
News Fourth Arrest Made In Connection To Foodland Robbery And Shooting
Aug. 20, 2014 1:19 PM EDT
News Multiple Businesses Struck By "Marble" Vandals
Aug. 20, 2014 12:05 AM EDT
News Victim's Name Release In Deadly Crash Involving Train
Aug. 19, 2014 11:15 PM EDT
News Increased Heroin Calls Delay Ambulance Runs
Aug. 19, 2014 11:14 PM EDT
News Bridge Valley Opens New Training Center For Workforce Development
Aug. 19, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Overcrowding Forces Braxton County Students To Transfer Schools
Aug. 19, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Reports Of Sheen On Elk River Tuesday
Aug. 19, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Vacant Properties Auctioned Off In Huntington
Aug. 19, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
News $1 Million Powerball Ticket Goes Unclaimed
Aug. 19, 2014 8:04 PM EDT
News Former GOP Presidential Candidate Stumps For WV Republicans
Aug. 19, 2014 7:46 PM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Marshall pep rally in Charleston sold out

Marshall University's "Paint the Capital City Green" pep rally is sold out.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Kentucky joining effort to reduce drunken driving

Law enforcement agencies around Kentucky are participating in a national effort to reduce impaired-driving fatalities.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio State president, band leaders to meet

University and marching band leaders at Ohio State are preparing to meet to discuss the future path of the organization after the firing of its director.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.