The House Ag Committee Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee held a public hearing Tuesday to review the definition of the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and its impact on rural America. Subcommittee members asserted the EPA has acted on its own - without input from states and stakeholders - to broaden the scope of the Clean Water Act - threatening the livelihood of farmers and ranchers and rural communities. Chairman Glenn Thompson says hasty movement from EPA will only invite costly litigation, burden states and counties with compliance costs and create obstacles to building and replacing U.S. infrastructure.

BNSF Railroad President and CEO Carl Ice apologized to grain shippers for last year’s poor service during the National Grain and Feed Association’s annual convention. Ice says BNSF knows it disappointed and didn’t meet expectations - but believes it’s running better now. NGFA President Randy Gordon says BNSF is right that the fluidity of their system this year is much better - but he says farmers also haven’t brought all that corn to market. He says the U.S. is facing a big crunch in overall transportation capacity - not just with railroads.