Ag Commish Sid Miller: 'It's Outrageous EPA is Implementing WOTUS Without Public Input'

"The Texas Department of Agriculture has prior legal rulings that prohibit this overreach."

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — "The negative impacts of this rule are still tremendous. We will continue to fight for the rights of farmers and ranchers,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a "Final Rule" on an amended Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Implementation Program.

The “final” rule was published without input from citizens after the EPA bypassed standard public comment period.
“It is outrageous that the EPA is immediately implementing the WOTUS rule without formal public input from the people. They are cramming this down the throats of farmers and ranchers across the country.

"The Texas Department of Agriculture has prior legal rulings that prohibit this overreach from being enforced in our great state,” said Commissioner Miller

On March 19, 2023, in Texas, et al v. EPA, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an order enjoining the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the WOTUS rule in Texas. This means the court order will stay in effect, thanks to the work of TDA and others.

Added Commissioner Miller,
“Today’s amendments claim to conform the WOTUS rule to legal precedent, but they don’t come close to fixing the problems this rule presents to agriculture. ​​​​​​"

Texas Department of Agriculture to Receive $12.2 million from USDA to Strengthen Local Food Systems
  • USDA's Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program will be implemented this fall
“This program is an important step in building agricultural infrastructure that will lead to more economic opportunities in communities across Texas. It's all about helping Texans support Texans,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently, welcoming a $12.2-million-dollar cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program.

The purpose of the RFSI program is to build resilience in the middle-of-the-supply-chain and strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for their state’s producers.
“The availability of this program is a great resource for our hardworking Texas producers, processors, and distributors,” said Commissioner Miller.

“TDA will be working in partnership with USDA to help ensure Texans see fair wages and safe job opportunities that keep profits in agricultural communities here in Texas.”
RFSI investments aim to create a food systems infrastructure to support competitive and profitable market access for domestic farm products. The overall goal of the program is to create improved processing options for local producers, expand regionally grown crops, generate new products, and strengthen the food supply chain.

The RFSI program will offer two grant types, “Equipment-Only” and “Infrastructure,” to eligible entities that operate in the middle-of-the-supply-chain. These grants will allow Texas to expand its capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products.
The RFSI program is set to begin in the fall of 2023. Grant awards will be issued in the spring of 2024.
  • TDA is currently seeking public input to help shape RFSI priorities for eligible entities. To provide comments through an online survey,
    • please click here.
  • If you would like additional information on the RFSI program, or would like to sign up for program notifications,
    • please click here
This program was funded by USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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