Farmers, ranchers express concern over new EPA regulations

U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem continued her trip to Rapid City on Wednesday to meet with the Black Hills Association of Realtors to discuss the impact of new EPA regulations.

South Dakota’s congressional delegation has expressed doubts over new EPA rules that would regulate even small bodies of water throughout the state. 13 states, including South Dakota, are trying to block the new rule and argue that the rules from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers illegally expand those agencies' powers under the Federal Clean Water Act.

But what does that mean for area farmers and ranchers? Noem says “that means that anytime somebody wanted to – if they had a two or three inch rainfall and they had water flowing into their house or to their foundation, they couldn't go out there and divert that water unless they had an EPA permit. And if they did divert that water to try and protect their property they would face up to $37,000 worth of fines every single day that they were in violation of that definition."

Environmentalists praise the rule for keeping chemicals and pollutants out of waterways. Many farmers and ranchers are concerned the rule will mean more money comes out of their pockets.