EPA's Jackson welcomes new farm sector advisors as 'part of our decision-making process'

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Sept. 30 - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed the newly-appointed members of EPA's Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) at their inaugural meeting Thursday. The FRRCC is an independent committee established by EPA in 2008 to advise the agency on a wide range of environmental issues impacting agriculture and rural communities.

The two day FRRCC meeting began Thursday with a focus on Chesapeake Bay and Florida water issues. The Friday meeting will focus on Iowa water issues. These same issues were highlighted Wednesday in a House Republican forum with the says-it-all title of “The EPA's Assault on Rural America: How New Regulations and Proposed Legislation are Stifling Job Creation and Economic Growth.” Also Wednesday, House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-MN) introduced legislation specifically crafted to block EPA from imposing new permit requirements for pesticide applications.

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For a report on Peterson's legislation to curb EPA authority, go to: www.agri-pulse.com/20100929H_Republican_forum_Blasts_EPA_Assault_on_Rural_America_Agriculture.asp. For a report on the “ EPA's Assault” forum, go to: www.agri-pulse.com/20100929H_Republican_forum_Blasts_EPA_Assault_on_Rural_America_Agriculture.asp

In her remarks to the FRRCC meeting Thursday, Jackson highlighted what she called EPA's ongoing efforts to engage American farmers and to create opportunities for cooperation between the environmental and agricultural communities. Her speech follows EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe's tour of Northern California farms last week, where he met with local farmers to see and discuss farmers' and ranchers' work in protecting the nation's natural resources.

“EPA is working to ensure that American farmers, ranchers and rural communities are more environmentally sustainable and economically resilient than ever before,” Jackson said. “America's farmers have a broad impact on everything from daily food prices to widespread environmental impacts to emerging fuel technologies. We need them to be part of our decision making process, and this meeting is yet another step in our engagement with the agricultural community.”

The new FRRCC members include: Steven S. Balling, Ph.D. (Chair), Del Monte Foods; Michael W. Brubaker, Senate of Pennsylvania; Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund; Steve McNinch, Western Plains Energy; Bill Snapp, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County Commission; Robert T. Burns, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Omar J. Garza, Texas Mexico Border Coalition; Martha L. Noble, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Alice Ann Sorenson, Ph.D., American Farmland Trust; George J. Boggs, Whatcom Conservation District; Gabriela Chavarria, Ph.D., Natural Resources Defense Council; Lee McDaniel, Harford Soil Conservation District; David D. Petty, Iowa River Ranch; G. Douglas Young (Deputy Chair), Spruce Haven Farm and Research Center; A. Richard Bonanno, Ph.D.; University of Massachusetts, Lawrence E. Clark, Farm Pilot Project Coordination; Tom McDonald, JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding; Jennie S. Hughes Popp, Ph.D., University of Arkansas; Ray E. Vester, E & M Farms Partnership; Daniel A. Botts, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; James W. Ford, Square “O” Consulting; Janis McFarland, Ph.D., Syngenta Crop Protection; Larry D. Sanders, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University; Lori A. Berger, Ph.D., California Specialty Crops Council; Robert L. Carlson, North Dakota Farmers Union; Archilus L. Hart, North Carolina Department of Agriculture; Bill Northey, Secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; and Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield Foods.

To read more about the FRRCC, go to: www.epa.gov/ocem/frrcc

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