February 8, 2016

Survey Shows Americans Prefer Local, State Governments Be In Charge Of Water Quality Issues

The American Farm Bureau Federation last week released the results of a poll that asked Chesapeake Bay residents to reveal their thoughts about federal health, safety and environmental regulations. 

According to the study, a majority (54 percent) of respondents either think there is too much (36 percent) federal regulation in the areas of health, safety and the environment or think there is just the right amount of regulation (18 percent). Only 33 percent think more regulation is needed. When asked which entity they trust more with health, safety and environmental regulations, 48 percent of respondents said they trust their local or state government more than the federal government while just 28 percent said they trust the federal government more. Additionally, only 18 percent of respondents said the federal government should be responsible for water quality in their area while nearly three-fourths of respondents (74 percent) said either their state or local government should be responsible for ensuring water quality. 

While the survey did not ask directly about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation, the American Farm Bureau Federation, like MSCI, strongly opposes the WOTUS rule. (Read more about WOTUS here.) 

 Farm Bureau General Counsel Ellen Steen said the organization’s survey revealed that respondents believe “their local governments should have authority when it comes to protecting their water, and … they trust state and local authorities much more than they do the federal government.”