Source GOP lawmakers push EPA to ax proposed water rule amid outcry from farmers
Home Owners, Farmers And Ranchers Alert Under a ‘New EPA proposed Regulation, Land and water standing on your Lawn, garden, pasture or cultivated field could be declared a wetland and fall under the control of the EPA administrations New Regulations.
Republican and democrat lawmakers said “We believe that this proposal will negatively impact economic growth by adding an additional layer of red tape to countless activities that are already sufficiently regulated by state and local governments.
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas said “This new rule is another power grab by [President] Obama. This is a brazen attempt to impose a radical redefinition specifically rejected by Congress and the Supreme Court,” Stockman said in a statement. “Green radicals have tried for decades to pass this redefinition by law, but it was too radical to pass even a Democrat-controlled Congress.”
The proposal would apply pollution regulations to the country’s so-called “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” which are created during wet seasons, or simply after it rains, but are temporary. At issue is the federal Clean Water Act, which gives the EPA authority to regulate “U.S. waters.” Two Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 limited regulators’ reach, but left unclear the scope of authority over small waterways that might flow intermittently.
Landowners and developers say the government has gone too far in regulating isolated ponds or marshes with no direct connection to navigable waterways.
EPA said “Tile drainage systems would not be regulated and there would be no new requirements for irrigation and drainage ditches. Exemptions already granted for farming activities would continue and 53 agricultural conservation practices would be added to the list.
But farmers who receive exemptions must also engage in an ongoing conversion practice that complies with Natural Resources Conservation Services standards.
“Once the landowner completes the conservation practice or changes the use of his land, he loses his EPA exemption and must now comply with a new, and more complex, set of rules. In other words, the only way a farmer or rancher can exempt himself from the EPA rule is to adhere to a mountain of other new federal rules.”
Criticizing the proposal as a “serious threat” to farmers, [and home owners] the American Farm Bureau Federation said “the rule would impose new regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers and other landowners and give the agency veto power over a farmer [or home owners] ability to work.
“This is not just about the paperwork of getting a permit to farm, or even about having farming practices regulated. The fact is there is no legal right to a Clean Water Act permit—if farming or ranching activities need a permit, [the] EPA or the Army Corps of Engineers can deny that permit,” the group said in a statement.
Senator. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. said “It’s the most breathtaking power grab I’ve seen in a long time, and they wonder why the economy is so weak.”
The proposed rule has drawn the concern of Democratic Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, chair of the Western Governors Association. He has warned federal officials that the rule change could impinge upon state authority in water management and that states should be consulted in the EPA decision-making.
Write, eMail and call your congress person. Tell them to put a stop to Obama and his EPA’s proposed power, water and land grab regulations.