The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to work more closely with the ag community and announced in October it was creating a special advisory committee for that job. This first-ever committee focused on agriculture is getting started this week, with the Federal Register publication of a request for member nominations.
The committee is being formed under the guidelines of EPA's National Strategy for Agriculture, which was announced earlier this year. The committee will advise the EPA administrator on environmental policy issues impacting farms, ranches and rural communities. It will operate under the rules of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
Meeting at least twice yearly, the committee will include about 25 members representing the following categories:
- large and small farmers, ranchers and rural communities
- rural suppliers, marketers and processors
- academics and researchers who study environmental issues impacting agriculture
- tribal agricultural groups and
- environmental and conservation groups.
USDA and other federal agencies will also be invited to nominate members. EPA will make a decision on membership by early January.
Jon Scholl, counselor to the EPA Administrator for Agricultural Policy, announced the Federal Register publication Thursday during the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Check out the Federal Register notice at www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-GENERAL/2007/November/D-15/g22380.htm.
Learn more about EPA's ag strategy at epa.gov/agriculture/agstrategy.html.