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Senate Action Comes Down Pipe to Block ‘Onerous’ EPA Water Grab

Even the electric industry is nervous about the federal government's new interest in ditches.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 24, 2014 - 5:16 pm
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WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans launched a legislative effort to try to block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing final “onerous” regulations that would expand its jurisdiction in the Clean Water Act to even include ponds and ditches on private property.

In March, the EPA began a “robust” 90-day “outreach effort” to gather input in shaping a final rule, maintaining that the directive isn’t groundbreaking but a clarification effort needed to clearly define streams and wetlands protection after Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006.

Critics, though, charged that the administration embarked on an unprecedented breach of private property rights without scientific basis.

The EPA wants to cover “most” seasonal and rain-dependent streams, which account for about 60 percent of stream miles in the country, arguing they have “a considerable impact on the downstream waters.”

Wetlands “near rivers and streams” would be protected under the CWA, and “other types of waters [that] may have more uncertain connections with downstream water and protection will be evaluated through a case specific analysis of whether the connection is or is not significant.”

Overall, the EPA stated at the time of its rulemaking announcement, a third of waters in the U.S. don’t meet Clean Water Act standards.

Last week, 30 senators introduced the Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014, a bill “to preserve existing rights and responsibilities with respect to waters of the United States.”

It would block the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing the March proposed rule.

“The EPA’s proposed water rule is another blatant overreach into Americans’ private lives and property by the Obama Administration. Not only would it have a devastating impact on Missouri farm families, it would also inflict serious harm on productive activities like the construction of homes, businesses, roads, and even the development of energy,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) stressed that the EPA “wants to regulate not just ‘navigable’ waters, but every water.”

“This is yet another overstep by the administration that will harm not only landowners but our entire agriculture industry in Georgia,” Isakson said.

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Top Rated Comments   
I live at the head of a water that flows to another that flows to another.

I will blow it all to hell and back if the fed dares to fruck MESS with me.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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The public needs to get off its collective duff and find out what both state and federal regulators are doing. The EPA, BLM and other powerful federal agencies MUST NOT be given the power to regulate without oversight, as has been happening lately where they use bureaucratic overkill to force foolish government regulations on individuals. The ridiculous "water runoff" rules that several states (such as Washington) have inflicted are scientifically unsound, and need to be repealed.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, this is what the Congress should have done decades ago - it originally wrote an ambiguous Clean Water Act Amendments of 1977, which the EPA and Corps of Engineers took as license to claim regulatory authority over all surface waters whether "navigable" or not ... there were several SCOTUS decisions in 2001, 2006, and 2008 that attempted to determine EPA and USACE's actual authority, generally restricting them but not fully. And EPA's proposed new approach is basically their attempt to blow off SCOTUS and do what they originally tried to do.

As with so many statutes, Congress writes a bad bill and the agencies try to take advantage of it, while SCOTUS is left to judge the inevitable disputes, and generally tries to stay out of the law-writing business.

This law will probably not get anywhere in the Senate as long as Dems control it with Harry Reid at the helm. This will likely have to wait for next year.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live at the head of a water that flows to another that flows to another.

I will blow it all to hell and back if the fed dares to fruck MESS with me.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
My knickers are in a twst.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a remarkably *profound* comment on such an unserious subject.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
In all seriousness, thank God there is a group taking this over-reach seriously and standing on the right side of our national interest here. We have been blessed with abundant natural resources, yet we prevent ourselves from using - such as nuclear (look at France's 73% electricity generation from nuclear) coal (which Germany is now switching to after passing on nuclear) and the baloney over the XL pipeline...why...because the EPA has cognitive dissonance between energy independance and funding terror through energy purchases in the Middle East. Defund the EPA and their non-value added activities.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"because the EPA has cognitive dissonance "

The EPA does not have "cognitive dissonance".

They have a Marxist agenda.

Big difference.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I see "Marxist agenda" and "cognitive dissonance" as mutually inclusive.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the next thing will be outlawing rainwater collection...oh, wait...
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Washington State has already declared they own any water runoff - if I stick a barrel under my downspout they can fine me for stealing state owned waters. So just for shitsandgiggles I now store water that runs off my garage roof. Screw em!

Several people have asked our governor if they can sue the state for flooding out their homes since the state owns all the falling water. No answer has yet been received.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same in Utah.

Probably true in other states.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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