Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency to trying to control the land along ditches and gullies by claiming the sources are part of navigable waterways, as lawmakers work to block this unsurping power grab.
Lawmakers state that these temporary water sources are often created by rain or snowmelt, and include irrigation and farming ditches along roadways, and would make it harder for private property owners to build in their own backyards, grow crops, raise livestock and conduct other activities on their own land.
“Never in the history of the CWA has federal regulation defined ditches and other upland features as ‘waters of the United States,’” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking committee member, and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
In a letter to House Colleagues, Mica stated that “This is without a doubt an expansion of federal jurisdiction.
The Obama administration is doing everything in its power to increase costs and regulatory burdens for American businesses, farmers and individual property owners. This federal jurisdiction grab has been opposed by Congress for years, and now the administration and its agencies are ignoring law and rulemaking procedures in order to tighten their regulatory grip over every water body in the country.”
“But this [Obama’s] administration needs to realize it is not above the law.”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said that “President Obama’s EPA continues to act as if it is above the law. It is using this overreaching guidance to pre-empt state and local governments, farmers and ranchers, small business owners and homeowners from making local land and water use decisions. Our bill will stop this unprecedented Washington power grab and restore Americans’ property rights. It’s time to get EPA lawyers out of Americans’ backyards.
The unusual alliance of the powerful House Republicans and Democrat to jointly sponsor legislation to overturn the new guidelines signals a willingness on Capitol Hill to rein in the formidable agency.
The House measure carries 64 Republican and Democratic cosponsors and was passed in committee last week. A companion piece of legislation is already gathering steam in the Senate and is cosponsored by 26 Republicans.
This is yet another attempt under the Obama regime using the EPA to seize property and control all landowners.
This will be another freedom lost if Obama remains in office.