Author Topic: EPA ‘Vants to Control Vat You Do’ With Your Ponds, Your Ditches, & Your Potholes  (Read 171 times)

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EPA ‘Vants to Control Vat You Do’ With Your Ponds, Your Ditches, & Your Potholes

by Betty Butter • 27 June, 2014 • Politics • 2 Comments

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Most Republicans and a handful of Democratic lawmakers are fighting the EPA’s proposal to control the water in your ponds, your ditches and your potholes. They see it as yet another way for the EPA to confiscate private property on their road to nationalizing all land (because you just know that is what the communist in the White House and his comrades aspire to do, even if they accomplish it incrementally.

From The Hill:

Lawmakers are up in arms over an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that they fear could give federal officials expansive new powers over private property and farmland.

The EPA is seeking to redefine what bodies of water fall under the agency’s jurisdiction for controlling pollution. The scope of the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule is of critical importance, as any area covered would require a federal permit for certain activities.

The rule is facing a groundswell of opposition from lawmakers, who fear the EPA is engaged in a “land grab” that could stop farmers and others from building fences, digging ditches or draining ponds.

More than 260 lawmakers, spanning both chambers and parties, have come out against the EPA’s action.

A group of 231 members of the House recently sent a letter to the EPA and the Army Corps asking them to withdraw the regulation. The group included almost the entire House Republican conference, as well as 19 Democrats.

“Although your agencies have maintained that the rule is narrow and clarifies CWA jurisdiction, it in face aggressively expands federal authority under the CWA while bypassing Congress and creating unnecessary ambiguity,” the lawmakers wrote.

The proposed rule is eight years in the making, and aims to clear up ambiguity in federal regulations that the EPA says was created by a series of Supreme Court decisions.

The EPA says the new rule — dubbed “Waters of the United States,” or “WOTUS” — would not massively expand its authority, nor would it create powers over back yards, wet spots or puddles.

“It would reduce the scope of waters covered under the Clean Water Act compared to the existing regulations on the book,” EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe recently told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It would not assert jurisdiction over any type of waters not previously protected over the past 40 years.”

Those assurances haven’t won over lawmakers, who say the rule is exceptionally broad.

“The rule would place features such as ditches, ephemeral drainages, ponds (natural or man-made, prairie potholes, seeps, flood plains, and other occasionally or seasonally wet areas under federal control,” the House lawmakers wrote in their letter.

The Senate also has a significant faction fighting the EPA’s action. Thirty Republican senators signed onto a bill introduced this week that would prevent the EPA and the Army Corps from moving forward.

“After already calling on the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the proposed rule, I want to make sure that the expansion of regulatory jurisdiction over ‘Waters of the United States’ is shelved for good,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the bill’s main sponsor.

“This straightforward legislation prohibits the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the secretary of the Army from finalizing the rule or trying a similar regulation in the future.”

Read more here

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