Sean Hackbarth has the worrisome story inside the EPA’s final (and massive) Waters of the United States rule:
Inside the 299 pages of regulations, definitions, explanations, and justifications for the rule, “adjacent” waters now under federal regulatory authority “include wetlands, ponds, lakes, oxbows, impoundments, and similar water features” that are “in the 100-year floodplain and that are within 1,500 feet” (five football fields) of a navigable water. The entire body of water is “adjacent” even if only a portion of it falls within the 100-year floodplain or within 1,500 feet of a navigable water.
While EPA and the Army Corps claim that WOTUS clarifies what waters are under federal jurisdiction, in agriculture’s case, nothing is clarified. The rule states [emphasis mine]:
Waters in which normal farming, ranching, and silviculture activities occur instead will continue to be subject to case-specific review, as they are today.
In fact, under this new definition bodies of water or wetlands over three-quarters of a mile from an navigable water could fall under federal jurisdiction if the federal government decides that it significantly affects another body of water.
Near as I can tell, the EPA is attempting to gain full control over most any part of the nation where there is, has been, or might be water.
And thus the nation takes another giant leap towards its happy future, when everything not mandatory is forbidden.