Ag Lawyer Warns “Don’t Think EPA Can’t Shut You Down”

Cindy Zimmerman

The challenge to American agriculture to produce more food, fuel, and fiber on decreasing acreage continues to be challenged by governmental regulation, according to Gary Baise, agricultural lawyer with Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Bode, and Matz law firm in Washington, D.C.

“Don’t think they (the EPA) can’t shut you down,” he said at the recent GROWMARK FS Green Plan Solutions “In Pursuit of Maximum Yields” conference in East Peoria. “There are policies in place and in the works that will restrict food production in the United States.”

“EPA can absolutely shut you down, or make it so expensive in terms of coming into compliance that you have to go out of business,” Baise told me in an interview after his address. He specifically talked about water issues, and the Chesapeake Bay Initiative in particular. “According to one study, 48 percent of the land in the six states around the Chesapeake Bay, that’s in corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, would have to come out of production and go into pasture land and timber in order to reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen running into the bay. I think that’s very serious,” he said.

While Baise says EPA has taken many beneficial actions for the environment since its inception during the Nixon administration, he would say “at this point, it’s misguided, misdirected and ill-informed.” He believes the agency now refuses to take into account all the improvements and successes that agriculture has achieved through the use of new technology and advancements. “I don’t think that they think that we want to save money. We do not want to waste any of these expensive inputs. I don’t EPA takes that kind of commonsense into account.”

Listen to my interview with Gary Baise here: Gary Baise Interview

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