EPA agricultural counselor Ron Carleton was at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk last week to discuss ways the agency is working to partner with farmers and ranchers for the benefit of all.
“I understand that the relationship between EPA and agriculture over the years has not been necessarily been warm and fuzzy,” said Carleton, who was appointed to the EPA post earlier this year after serving as a Colorado state agriculture official and congressional aide. “I do know that Administrator McCarthy has been very adamant about trying to find ways to enter into more collaborations and partnerships with agricultural stakeholders to address some of the challenges that we have.”
One of those new partnerships, announced at NAFB last week, is the Nutrient Recycling challenge, designed to address the challenge livestock producers have to manage over a billion tons of manure every year. “We think it can be managed in a way that is more economically viable and beneficial for producers, as well as for the environment,” said Carleton.
He admits that the challenges to EPA’s Clean Water Rule, or WOTUS, remain. “I do think there was a little misunderstanding about its impact on agriculture overall,” Carleton said. “A lot of folks would disagree with me on that and I understand that and that’s one of the reasons we’ll end up sorting this out in court.”
Listen to my interview with Carleton here: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/nafb15-epa.mp3″ text=”Interview with Ron Carleton, EPA”]