EPA Grabbing Your Water by Regulation: Feds Want Your Water and They Shall Have it!

The Other McCain alerted that the EPA is readying to change the way our American waters are governed. This set off a warning bell for me because the old Clean Water Act of 1972 was destined to become Senate Bill 787, The Clean Water Restoration Act of the 111th Congress, if Democrats had their way.  They didn’t, and the bill expired on April 2, 2011 as it languished in the Senate Legislative Committee. Now less than a month later, the EPA is forcing the issue and has apparently decided they will be the decider. In the meantime, the EPA is pulling coal mining permits by the dozens, claiming authority under the Clean Water Act, for companies explicitly following the letter of the law but forced to leave millions of dollars and jobs on the sacrificial alter of the EPA. This isn’t just about coal mining and big industry, it is about your water and your liberty.

The Feds Want Your Pond

The EPA badly wants governance of your backyard pond, and they shall have it through regulation, not law. America, this administration wants all of this country’s water, – that’s ALL OF THIS COUNTRY’S WATER,  and it isn’t a small thing. The last time I wrote about this I cited a fact about Israel that made a great impression upon me, and it bears repeating. One of the reasons for the 1967 War was the Arab nations’ cutting off irrigation water to Israel. No crops no food. Throughout history, tyrants have taken the people’s water and restricted its use. It is a technique that brings a people to their knees or their graves. We can live without electricity but we cannot live without useful water. Our water is a matter of Liberty.

According to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), there will be a 60-day comment period. How gullible can we be to think we should have the confidence of sanity prevailing, as we leave our comments and hope to keep our own property? If that were possible, there would be no effort to do what the EPA and Barack Obama is doing come hell or high AMERICAN WATERS:

The Environmental Protection Agency also released its guidelines for expanding federal power over the nation’s waterways, ponds and puddles.

These guidelines will take effect after a 60-day comment period and will serve as a reference for environmental agencies in determining their jurisdiction over a particular body of water, large or small. They will eventually morph into binding regulations as damaging to our economy and freedom as the EPA regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.

Smitty at The Other McCain believes the White House knows little about the specifics of the EPA’s plans, but the IBD article sounds suspiciously similar, if not exact to former Congressman Russ Feingold’s now dead Senate Bill 787. Let’s look at some of what 787 hoped to do from my previous article:

Senate Bill 787 is known as the Clean Water Restoration Act. OpenCongress.org said it seeks to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over the waters of the United States – which is a change from jurisdiction over only the “navigable waters” of the United States.

In 2007 the EPA and the Department of the Army “clarified” the definition of “Waters of the United States,” as such:

  1. All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;
  2. All interstate waters including interstate wetlands;
  3. All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters:
    1. (i) Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; or
      (ii) From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or
      (iii) Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce;
  4. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition;
  5. Tributaries of waters identified inparagraphs (s)(1) through (4) of this section;
  6. The territorial sea;
  7. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (6) of this section; waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR 423.11(m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States.

Then there is this notation at the bottom of the list:

Waters of the United States do not include prior converted cropland. Notwithstanding the determination of an area’s status as prior converted cropland by any other federal agency, for the purposes of the Clean Water Act, the final authority regarding Clean Water Act jurisdiction remains with EPA.

Under Russ Feingold’s bill, the WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES were defined as follows:

(25) WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES- The term `waters of the United States’ means all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.’.

Feingold was forced to defend his legislation against claims that croplands could be considered Waters of the United States. Feingold denied it – said his bill exempted all agricultural lands, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was not convinced. Today, IBD quotes Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK):

House Agricultural Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., says the expanded EPA guidelines would let the government “regulate essentially any body of water, such as a farm pond or even a ditch.” A bipartisan group of 170 congressmen wrote a letter to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers urging them not to issue the expanded guidelines.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said in a statement that the guidelines “take an overly broad view of ‘waters of the U.S.’ It would serve as a road map for EPA and the Corps to designate nearly all water bodies, and even some on dry land, as subject to federal regulations that dictate land-use decisions.”

The IBD article also details the problems suffered by mining companies, particularly when the EPA revoked the mining permits for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine No. 1 in Logan County, West Virginia – with no cause, and with the company following to the letter of the EPA regulations.

Arch Spruce Coal Mine No. 1

After an investment of $250 million in the mountain-top mining operation, which when fully operational would have employed 215 miners directly and 300 indirect jobs in support services, it was ordered to shut down. These were, no pun intended, “shovel-ready” jobs…

The EPA is currently suspending 79 such surface mining permits in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

I think we can safely assume Congress will have no part in the new EPA regulations. As so many times over the past two years, the Democrat-controlled Congress abdicated their powers willingly. When Congress refused to pass legislation to regulate greenhouse gases, Obama handed it to the EPA, which immediately put into place rigorous and burdensome emissions accounting. Enter the Republican House and efforts are underway to strip the EPA of that authority, and Barack Obama is threatening to veto. America, that beautiful piece of land you purchased with the natural pond, to water your crops or animals, will no longer be yours.  Thanks to the fabulous new Trending Right resource.