2012 IWLA National Policy Resolutions
At the League's 2012 national convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, delegates from across the country approved four resolutions that will guide the organization's future advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and other work at the state, regional, and national levels.
The Izaak Walton League of America supports the “re-coupling” of federal crop insurance benefits to the conservation compliance requirements of the Farm Bill programs, including both strong Sodsaver and Swampbuster provisions in those conservation compliance requirements. The IWLA supports a 5-year waiting period between breaking of native prairie and enrollment in Federal Crop Insurance.
The Izaak Walton League of America supports legislation in the Farm Bill requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, to annually gather and publicly report information on wetland and grassland acres converted to crop production of all producers enrolled in the federal crop insurance program.
Oil and Natural Gas
The Izaak Walton League of America supports enactment of the following requirements for all oil and natural gas drilling sites:
- Congress should repeal sections 402(l)(2) and 502(24) of the Clean Water Act which exempt oil and natural gas drilling from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements.
- Following repeal of the exemption in sections 402(l)(2) and 502(24) of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shall develop and adopt regulations applying the NPDES permit process to discharges of storm water runoff from oil and natural gas operations. Regulations must require monitoring and reporting of storm water discharges and can utilize general permits, provided such permits require individual site registration and address factors specific to each geographic area and geologic production zone.
- As part of any permit system regulating oil and natural gas drilling sites, the appropriate regulatory agency shall require compliance with relevant Best Management Practices (BMPs) for site development, operation, closure, and reclamation, and impose penalties for non-compliance.
- Any permit system regulating oil and natural gas drilling sites should protect wetlands and riparian zones by requiring compliance with all relevant local, state and federal ordinances and regulations concerning such resources.
- Prior to drilling permit issuance, a notice of intent to drill shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area to be drilled. This notice shall include a right to a public hearing by residents and landowners in the affected communities.
- Groundwater monitoring shall be required for all oil and natural gas drilling, production, disposal and drilling fluids storage.
- All drilling permits must require adequate bonding to provide sealing, reclamation, and environmental remediation.
Regulation of Silica Sand
The Izaak Walton League of America recommends that all levels of government with oversight and regulatory authority over silica (frac) sand mining implement a moratorium for permitting new silica (frac) sand mining operations. The moratorium would be lifted when regulations are in place that must protect human health and the environment from a range of impacts related to silica sand mining. The regulatory process must include the following components at a minimum:
- A public environmental assessment and permitting process.
- The environmental assessment process, to be conducted by qualified personnel, must examine impacts on air and water quality, wildlife, fish, other natural resources, human health, and local infrastructure.
- Any permit authorizing silica sand mining must establish site-specific plans to adequately protect natural resources, human health and local infrastructure, and include measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate such impacts.
- Permits must be enforceable and non-compliance penalties must be in place to ensure regulations are implemented at mining locations.
- The permitting process shall require mining companies to post a bond or otherwise prove financial capability for mine closure and site reclamation.