LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency was in Louisville Thursday with a promise of change to one of the most controversial environmental regulations for Kentucky farmers. Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 98th Annual Meeting that the "Waters of the United States" regulation will be changed forever by mid-2018.
During a question and answer session, Administrator Pruitt answered a question that drew laughter from the large crowd; what’s it like to work for President Donald trump.
Taking the stage at a Galt House where he worked as a bell hop while in college, Kentucky native and US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wasted no time telling the audience that the Trump administration was about to shed baggage left behind by the Obama Administration's EPA.
“Waters of the US” is likely the biggest reason why some agriculture groups were critical of the Obama Administration. The EPA’s regulation of the legislation that defined water sources on private property had been a focal point during last year's elections. Friday there were cheers when Administrator Scott Pruitt promised that change is months away.
He accused the former administration of "over-reach" in its defining of "WOTUS" and said a replacement should be in place by in the middle of next year.
“They took a definition and turned it into something that was unrecognizable to those who actually adopted the law turning a puddle, a dry creek bed and a drainage ditch into a water of the US”, said Administrator Pruitt. “That is getting fixed. We have a proposal in place to withdraw that rule. We've got a definition to replace it.”The crowd responded with applause.
Administrator Pruitt explained that the new rule would focus on navigability and the agency was awaiting the results of a lawsuit before deciding on their proposal's final path.
The overall message sent to the 98th Kentucky Farm Bureau Annual Meeting was that they had a partner in him at the EPA and that the days of choosing between progress and protection were over as he insisted both could be possible through innovation.
During a Q and A session with Farm Bureau President Mark Haney the focus turned to Pruitt's boss.
Haney asked, “What's it like to work with President Trump?”
Laughter filled the large convention space before Pruitt began to answer, with a smile, “I am blessed in so many ways that, I am so thankful to work with and for President Trump. He is, I think he's in the White House today for two primary reasons. One, he's got great courage. And he's a person of results. He's a person of action. I think the American people across the country, as they voted November 8th last year, they wanted someone with courage and they wanted someone to get things done and there's no more person better embodies that today than President Trump.”
Administrator Pruitt described the President as courageous in pulling the US from the Paris Climate Accord, adding that Mr. Trump, "is not about talk, he's about action."
You can see the full remarks by Administrator Pruitt here.