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EPA Stealthily Propels Toward ‘Massive Power Grab of Private Property Across the U.S.’

Redefinition of "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act would give EPA jurisdiction over as little as a backyard ditch.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

November 12, 2013 - 5:53 pm
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WASHINGTON — While the country is immersed in Obamacare headlines and a congressional tussle over delays and mandates, the Obama administration is stealthily moving toward unprecedented control over private property under a massive expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act authority.

The proposed rule, obtained by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in advance of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s testimony at a Thursday oversight hearing, widely broadens the definition of waterways over which the federal government has jurisdiction to as little as a water ditch in a backyard.

The Clean Water Act redefinition of “waters of the United States” would include all ponds, lakes, wetlands and natural or manmade streams that have any effect on downstream navigable waters — whether on public lands or private property.

And, committee Republicans note, the administration is trying to move forward with the rule at a breakneck pace, relying on the findings of a scientific report that hadn’t undergone peer review at the time the rule was submitted to the White House for approval.

“The EPA’s draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S. This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever,” Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said after seeing the proposal. “If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams.”

“The Obama administration’s latest power play to regulate America’s waterways is an unprecedented effort to control the use of private property,” Smith added, promising to question McCarthy this week about her agency’s “ever-expanding regulatory agenda.”

The EPA has made no secret of wanting to balloon its jurisdiction over all waters, even testing the limits by going after businesses that could potentially taint any type of water on its way to a body of water.

A federal court recently threw out the EPA’s attempt to force a poultry farmer in West Virginia to obtain a costly Clean Water Act permit, determining that storm waters flowed across the farmer’s property and eventually wound up in “waters of the United States.” For this, the farmer was threatened with possible imprisonment and fines of up to $37,500 per day as the EPA maintained she was responsible for any feathers or manure bits making their way to a waterway.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia noted that “common sense and plain English lead to the inescapable conclusion” that runoff from storm water doesn’t fall within the guidelines of needing a permit under the Clean Water Act, a decision that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the EPA needed to accept and extend to all of its enforcement operations.

“It’s clear that EPA had no business subjecting this poultry farmer to a bureaucratic maze of federal regulation. This is just another attempt from EPA to expand its regulatory powers,” Vitter said last week. “Following the court decision, I hope EPA will reconsider its CWA enforcement priorities and nationally implement the decision’s analysis of the CWA so that farmers and other land owners are not further confused or otherwise harassed by the agency.”

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Top Rated Comments   
These "studies" the EPA uses to justify it's activities are funded by grants from the EPA to those doing the "studies". In fact, most of the EPA budget is consumed by these grants which lead to lawsuits against the agency alleging environmental encroachment. In short, the agency pays favorable groups to litigate against it and then similarly favorable judges rule accordingly. Our wealth is being used to destroy us!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To a Communist, all property is theft.

And, they mean to steal it back.

Accumulated wealth by the "non-victim" class is an invitation for the State and The Party to abuse the "oppressor class".

Do you think Bill Ayers, George Soros, Frank Marshall Davis, Barack Obama, Sr., Michael Pfleger, Carl Davidson...would be shocked, dismayed or disappointed at seizing the healthcare, automotive, banking, real estate, portions of our free market economy?

Seizing inheritances of "yo daddy's 401k or grand daddy's 401k"?

Taking your land? Spying on you? Having the IRS attack you because you aren't Communist?

Would Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said, Jeremiah Wright, Don Warden or Louis Farrakhan be disappointed at the favoring of Islamic terror states over Israel?

Would Barack Obama, Sr. or Stanley Dunham be unhappy with the return of Winston Churchill's bust or the slap in the face to all Western "colonial" powers in favor of Communist and radical Islamic tyrannies?

This country has been played. And has had it's Constitution shredded, it's freedoms and rights stolen and it's information stream stolen and gang raped. Your Media is a traitorous cesspool and your government is a tyranny itself. Wake up to our national nightmare, my countrymen. This land of ours is being seized and our freedoms are being taken...while your "guardian Party" slumbers away our rights.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Capitalism is destroyed in three ways.

1. Subvert enforcement of contract law. (Auto-bailout).
2. Destroy freedom of association. (affirmative action, ENDA).
3. Destroy private property rights. (This).

F.A. Hayek warns in Road to Serfdom (Chapter 5) that the State need only control 53% (not all) of production to exert totalitarian control over the economy.

Uh oh.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (52)
All Comments   (52)
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This began under Clinton in the 90s. Remember when the EPA was going after people that allowed seasonal rain puddles to dry up, by claiming the puddles were "wetlands" in need of "protection"? This is more of the same.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These commies just keep coming. The republicans could learn a thing or two about waging a war on the opposition.
In this case it is the Fed vs. Its own citizens!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The EPA is being used as a vehicle to continue with Agenda 21 which changes our own actions on our own property so we all give up, move into the cities and they have more control over every second of our lives for their enjoyment of continued elite prestige and power. Please be aware of Project 21, a child of the UN and how govt agencies are mandating regulations to insure that private property moves out of the hands of the people, monies gets moved out of the hands that have it and we all end up with redistribution of wealth. I promise you all, it is purposefully connected, all of it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are so correct, santababy. Sadly, the average person does not want to think this deeply into what is happening. TeaParty advised against Agenda 21 months ago and pointed out problems, but folks just go about their daily business with their blinders on until they are individually affected...like the chicken farmer, for example. So sad.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
stoopid EPA chickins poop an insektasides aint gunna hurt no body. i tell u wats gunna hurt. dat stoopid man in the wite howse. dat wats gunna hurt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Current Federal Law defines what are "Navigable Waters of the United States" where the Coast Guard has police power.
Those limits should also apply to the EPA.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Over the last 5 years or so the EPA has been desperately trying to kill US Agriculture in all its forms. First it tried dust regulations that would have leveled fines for dust raised while plowing, harvesting, driving on a dirt road and maybe even mowing your lawn. Then they tried to make agriculture follow the same rules as heavy industry which would require tens of thousands of dollars in permits annually and heavy fines for mud puddles on dirt roads or in parts of the fields. And now this. The EPA was created with a loose mandate and no real guidelines or oversight. That needs to change before it kills the country.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It seems that poultry farmer should save up all the feathers, find some tar, visit the EPA, and...well, you know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“Such unrestrained federal intrusion poses a serious threat to private property rights, state sovereignty and economic growth.”

Lead poisoning may be on the docket.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ron Paul promised to disband the EPA, along with a few other unconstitutional federal alphabet soup agencies. HE sees what they are, how they work, and the incradible damage they do. But he was declared "unelectable", we bought that lie, and so he wan't. Sad.... we COULD by now be forever shut of the EPA and their unconstitutional power grabs.

SOMEONE with a spine should draft and push legislation that would take back the lawmaking process unconstitutinaly abdicated to such agencies. Force a floor vote on ALL sules from any of these agencies that has any significant impact on WE THE PEOPLE. The floor figure from the OMB of $500Mn in either the public or private sector might be a good place to start. EPA would lose the authority to make "rules" like this, like their CAFE standards (fuel economy mandates) , regs that shut down coal fired electric generation, mandate CFL's (flourescent bulbs containing mercury), tighter emissions standards on diesel fueled vehicles, regs that keep the super efficient diesels from Europe out, restrict output from wood stoves, or ban them altogether.... WHO is supposed to "make laws" in our government? Certainly NOT an unelected agency not accountable to the people under the executive branch, Nope. That duty falls to the two houses of COngress, and nowhere else. Yet EPA, etc, create binding law, which we all are required to bown, at our expense, and with no recourse or redress. Time to clip the wings of this renegade agency.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It was an "easy" promise to make as he knew, as did everyone else, that he had no chance in He!! of ever having to keep it - now, his son, Rand?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ron Paul promised to disband the EPA, along with a few other unconstitutional federal alphabet soup agencies.

All Republicans make that promise.

None who had the chance to do so have delivered (see 2003-2007).

In the end they support this as it is a way to get donations and votes out of us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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