Kansas municipal and agricultural groups announced Friday that they are diving into a fight between environmentalists and the EPA over regulation of runoff into the Kansas River and other rivers and streams.
Earlier this month, Friends of the Kaw filed notice that it will sue the EPA to force the federal agency to impose more stringent water quality standards. The notice starts a 60-day time period for negotiations. The EPA has declined to comment on the issue.
Kansas municipal and agriculture groups said they fear the EPA “will use the Friends of the Kaw action to impose extremely restrictive and scientifically unjustified nutrient regulations like the agency did in response to a similar lawsuit filed in Florida.”
The EPA’s action in Florida has caused controversy and will cost that state billions of dollars, said the groups, which includes the League of Kansas Municipalities, Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and Kansas Cooperative Council.
“The citizens and agribusinesses (large and small) of Kansas cannot and will not allow similar arbitrary agency action to be imposed in Kansas. These groups cannot afford to have their resources (public and private) expended in such a cavalier manner,” the groups wrote in a letter to the EPA.
Friends of the Kaw’s concern is pollution from excessive quantities of nutrients, including phosphorous and nitrogen. Most commonly, this comes from sewage and runoff from agriculture.