From: The Minority Report
The Environmental Protection Agency has come up with a way to execute one of the biggest land grabs by the federal government ever perpetrated on the American public. On Tuesday, the EPA proposed a change to the Clean Water Act so that the EPA would have the power to regulate temporary wetlands and waterways.
The land grab engendered tremendous concern from members of the GOP trying to protect private property; they noted that the EPA would gain power over seasonal ponds, streams and ditches.
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, charged, “The … rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.” He stated that the EPA was “picking and choosing” its science while trying to “take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.” Vitter also noted that if the EPA gets its way, more environmental groups could sue private property owners.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was also furious, saying that the EPA grab “could result in serious collateral damage to our economy … [I]t appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act.” She added of her home state, “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.”
The EPA proposal to more widely implement pollution regulations would affect “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” whose water comes from wet seasons or rains but are temporary.