EPA agriculture advisory committee

September 24, 2020

EPA recently reestablished the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC), a federal advisory body that provides counsel and advice to the EPA Administrator on agricultural and rural matters. The FRRCC has 30 members from a wide range of agricultural backgrounds and held its first meeting two weeks ago, which, like all federal advisory committee meetings, was open to the public.

In addition to introductions, much of the committee meeting’s agenda involved exploring the charge from EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler. The “charge” focuses on two areas: (1) Creating a Holistic Pesticide Program for the Future and (2) Supporting Environmental Benchmarks with Interagency Partners. EPA has laid out a series of specific questions related to these areas. These include how EPA can better measure data and information about proactive actions that production agriculture and rural communities take in nutrient management, water reuse, and food loss and waste (including mitigation) and how EPA can support efforts to combat nutrient pollution in U.S. water bodies.

While not all of the FRRCC recommendations to the Administrator have led to new EPA policies, it can and does happen. Important EPA reforms being enacted today were part of the FRRCC’s recommendations made several years ago. Individuals or companies with comments or suggestions about the “charge” to the FRRCC can submit them directly to FRRCC@epa.gov or share them with UEP staff who will make sure they are part of the public record. Future FRRCC meetings will include the opportunity for statements by the public.