By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan farm officials are fighting an attempt by the federal Environmental Protection agency to regulate small bodies of water, saying that a new permit process would make construction and farming more expensive and time-consuming. It would affect “anyone who puts a shovel in the ground,” said Laura Campbell, manager of the Michigan Farm Bureau’s agricultural ecology department. Farmers will need more permits approved by the EPA for things like nutrient applications, basic pest control and adapting new land for farming, she said. EPA is suggesting new rules under the Clean Water Act that would give it jurisdiction over more bodies of water. That includes water that could run into a stream that is already under its jurisdiction and areas that are only wet during flood seasons.