Rep. Braley introduced the bill with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03). The Representation for Farmers Act would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to appoint up to three members with agricultural backgrounds to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board. This would ensure that the EPA gets technical advice from farmers when determining implementation of proposed regulations. Currently, only three of the board's 48 members have agricultural backgrounds.
"Our farmers must have a voice when it comes to their life's work," said Congressman Braley. "This bill will give them a chance to bring some common sense to EPA regulations that have an effect on them every single day."
The EPA Science Advisory Board provides analysis and recommendations for EPA regulations and other technical matters that often impact agriculture. Farmers have become increasingly concerned that EPA decisions are creating unnecessary and undue economic hardship. For example, proposals to regulate dust on farms have raised concerns. Braley recently voted to protect Iowa farms from these burdensome federal dust regulations.
The bill has been endorsed by the National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, National Wheat Growers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.