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stop-epaLast Tuesday the EPA proposed another change to the Clean Water Act giving it authority over “temporary wetlands and waterways” extending as far as seasonal ponds, streams, and ditches on private property.

Affecting “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” created only after a rain, the EPA proposal would give the agency overriding control of even more personal private property than the EPA’s ill-fated White River Blueway, despite claims to the contrary by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The EPA says that provisions of the Clean Water Act “became confusing and complex” following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 on whether smaller streams and wetlands are indeed part of the “waters of the United States.”  They say these waters “form the foundation of the nation’s water resources” and changes would not extend the federal government’s reach.

Says the EPA in its announcement about the rules:

Forty years ago, two-thirds of America’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters were unsafe for fishing and swimming. Because of the Clean Water Act, that number has been cut in half.  However, one-third of the nation’s waters still do not meet standards.

We all know the Fifth Amendment defines ownership/control of private property as a fundamental right in our free country.  David Vitter (R, Louisiana), ranking Republican on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, no doubt had that in mind when he called the proposal

“…one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”  The EPA is “picking and choosing” its science while “taking another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.”

Vitter also warned the proposed rules would give a green light to more environmental groups who wish to sue private property owners.

property-rights-fundamentalThe proposed rules hit home for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, Alaska) who said the EPA rules “could result in serious collateral damage to our economy…It appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act.  If EPA is not careful, this rule could effectively give the federal government control of nearly all of our state — and prove to be a showstopper for both traditional access and new development.”

We have more to worry about than President Obama’s unconstitutional pen and phone:  Here, again, we have an Obama Administration federal agency that doesn’t agree with specific Supreme Court rulings, and so uses its own pen (rule-making authority) to subvert the checks and balances between our branches of government that are part of the basic fabric of our country and our Constitution.

This proposed water rule is even more of a threat to private property than the White River National Blueway land grab — which was stopped due to grassroots resistance coupled with education of lawmakers and stakeholders — because of its potential reach beyond existing streams and rivers.  This new rule must be stopped as well:

and let them know you oppose the continual intrusion on personal property rights by the EPA.  Supreme Court rulings are considered “the law” in the case of Obamacare.  Why aren’t the 2001 and 2006 Supreme Court rulings on the Clean Water Act also being treated as “the law”?

— once it’s published (any day now) in the Federal Register, you can submit your remarks within the 90-day comment period.

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The Proposed Rule from carries this disclaimer:

“The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Jo Ellen Darcy, signed the proposed rule on 03/25/2014 and 03/24/2014, respectively, and the EPA is submitting it for publication in the Federal Register (FR).  While we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this Internet version of the rule, it is not the official version of the rule for purposes of public comment.

Please refer to the official version in a forthcoming FR publication, which will appear on in Docket No.EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

Once the official version of this document is published in the FR, this version will be removed from the Internet and replaced with a link to the official version.”