By Tim Kowols
Kewaunee CARES founder Lynn Utesch took to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Friday to speak as a witness to a proposed bill concerning protections for farmers. Under the Farm Regulatory Certainty Act being discussed in the Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, an agricultural operation actively working with the state or Environmental Protection Agency could not have a suit filed against them by a citizen. Utesch testified against the act, stating it does not hurt small farmers as much as it protects polluters.
One of the bill’s authors, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, testified that he created the legislation “to encourage farmers to be proactive stewards and create a climate to reinforce farmers’ ability to trust that as they work with regulators, their efforts to address stewardship issues will result in outcomes that benefit the environment” and not in third-party lawsuits.