Some concerned about new EPA regulations - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Some concerned about new EPA regulations

IDNR employee runs test on water in Kinkaid lake (Source: Loreto Cruz KFVS) IDNR employee runs test on water in Kinkaid lake (Source: Loreto Cruz KFVS)
MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Many in the Heartland are concerned that a new ruling by the environmental protection agency could put a strain on local farmers.

Before the White House issued the Waters of the United States rulings on Wednesday, nearly 60 percent of American waterways were left unregulated. The EPA has explained that the purpose was to clear up details of earlier rulings in the hopes of protecting the widespread water supply.

In the past few days, countless environmentalists and groups publicly praised the new regulations as a huge victory for clean water, but many farmers and food producers say the implications are bad for business.

“In some way it's all connected,” explained Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Chris Mohrman. “So we need to take care of it as best as we can everywhere.”

Mohrman explained that local water sources like the one at Kinkaid Lake in Murphysboro are healthy enough, but eliminating even the smallest amount of chemical runoff is part of a much bigger picture.

“The idea is to try to get a handle on it at the point of the pollution,” Mohrman said Sunday. “Then try to knock it out there so that way it doesn't build up in these systems and keep multiplying as they join each other, and then go out into the ocean.”

Chemicals and pesticides referenced by the EPA as pollutants are used by farmers across the country. When used improperly, those chemicals rinse into drainage ditches on a farmer's property and eventually into our drinking water.

“A little bit here and a little bit there, and then all of the sudden you have a whole lot." Mohrman said.

Critics of the regulations say the 297 page ruling leaves gray areas that could spell trouble for small businesses and farms nationwide.

"I've been a conservationist all of my life, I'm interested in having clean water too.” explained local farmer Allen Bigham. “I'm not going to do anything intentionally to pollute our water. This might just be another person looking over our shoulder."

Bodies of water covered in the new ruling feed into the drinking water of roughly 117,000,000 people.

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