Expansion of CWA Authority to All Waters is Inappropriate
Washington--As the Nov. 6 deadline for comments approaches, farmers, ranchers and many others are sharing their concerns about a draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency that is setting the stage for the agency to expand its regulatory reach and erase the word "navigable" from the Clean Water Act. EPA has indicated that the report, "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters," will be used to provide the scientific basis for determining-and ultimately stretching beyond well-established legal boundaries-EPA's jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act.
"Clean water and the Clean Water Act (CWA) [are] highly beneficial for this country, however leveraging the CWA for an ever expanding scope of federal authority over private citizens is outrageous. The EPA needs to realize that its scope over private property needs to be limited to the protection of public property. Expansion of the CWA to all water is inappropriate for establishing regulatory authority over private property. The CWA needs to differentiate the limits of federal authority under the CWA over public waters (navigable rivers), and over private lands [on] which rain water falls, drains, is sometimes damp, or submerged at times," one person wrote in comments posted to regulations.gov.
For additional information and resources, including a sample comment letter, go to the FBACT Insider website. You may also read more about EPA's effort in FBNews.