If the federal government gets its way – says an Illinois Farm Bureau-led business coalition – the Environmental Protection Agency would regulate practically every drop of water there is, including what's collected after it falls from the sky. The bureau brought some two dozen groups together to push negative comments during the “public comment period” for proposed rule changes to the Clean Water Act, saying they'd drown business in this country.
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“This would make the cost of beginning or expanding vital mining projects in the state to skyrocket,” says Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association, “with, effectively, no corresponding environmental benefit.”
The farm bureau's director of environmental and natural resources, Lauren Lurkins, says the EPA is attempting to force a one-size-fits-all solution. Lurkins says that's impossible just for the Illinois Farm Bureau, with 80,000 constituents.