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TSCRA Government and Public Affairs Roundup: Tax reform, Transportation ELD and HOS rules, WOTUS testimony

The TSCRA Government and Public Affairs office continues to monitor federal tax reform initiatives. While the House has already passed their version, the process is moving slowly in the Senate. Once a Senate bill is passed, the two chambers will still need to come together in a conference committee to hash out the differences between the two bills.

Earlier this week, TSCRA submitted official comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to weigh in on the request for a waiver from the livestock industry on the agency’s Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) rule. TSCRA encouraged the exemption amidst concern that the new rule could negatively affect the welfare and safety of animals in transit. The full comments can be read here.

TSCRA also signed on to comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Those comments follow an agricultural listening session in October on the agency’s definition of federally regulated waters, or waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The comments conclude in part, “for farmers and ranchers to comply with the 2015 Rule, significant time and financial commitments would be required… The increase in jurisdiction could cost an average of $30,000 to complete the permitting process for each operation… costing the animal agriculture industry over $950 million nationwide.” The comments also encourage a proposed definition that will allow cattle producers to easily determine if their property contains a WOTUS without costly consultations. The full comments can be read here.

Dec 01, 2017 General Discussion, Issues & Policy