This is about land rights and government controlling independent farmers and homesteaders:
Written by: Daniel Jennings
New water way rules proposed by the EPA could devastate homesteaders, farmers, ranchers and other rural property owners, US Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) says.
The agency’s attempt to expand its jurisdiction over wetlands and water ways could make it impossible or prohibitively expensive for property owners to make use of their own land, Thune says.
Under the current rules the Clean Water Act only applies to large streams and rivers. The Environmental Protection Agency wants to rewrite the rules so the Act applies even to seasonal streams and creeks, and also to wetlands that are near protected rivers and streams.
Critics like Thune charge that this will give the agency the power to fine property owners who build stock ponds, drainage ditches and even small hydroelectric systems without a permit. They also say it will expand the EPA’s power over private property and entangle regular everyday citizens in lengthy bureaucratic paperwork.
“This proposed expansion has real consequences for … property owners,” Thune said. “Direct and indirect costs would result from additional permit application expenses, mitigation requirements, and environmental analysis, and violating these requirements could cost farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and businesses thousands of dollars per day.”
Fines and Bureaucratic Paperwork Ahead?
Thune and some of his colleagues wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on May 8.
“We have reviewed the proposed rule that you signed on March 25th and have concluded that the rule provides essentially no limit to the CWA jurisdiction,” the letter read.
“Additional and substantial regulatory costs associated with changes in jurisdiction and increased permitting requirements will result in bureaucratic barriers to economic growth, negatively impacting farms, small businesses, commercial development, road construction and energy production, to name a few.” More