Washington, Water You Doing?

Clean Water Act proposal expands federal control over private property.

By Rick Brinegar


Could a water puddle on your property subject you to new layers of federal bureaucracy? Yes, it could. On the surface it might appear that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are merely seeking a rule clarification. Actually, the proposed changes to the Clean Water Act of 1972 could turn the law into a government land grab. According to Ron Arnold of The Daily Signal, a Supreme Court Justice has warned that the proposed changes could put the “property rights of every American entirely at the mercy” of the EPA.  If the proposed rule changes take effect, “wetlands” could mean a low spot on a farmer’s field that occasionally holds rainwater, the decorative pond of a suburban home, or a subdivision ditch that drains storm runoff.


The rule change is called “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.” It would change the Clean Air Act by removing the world “navigable.” In effect, any  piece of land that is wet at least part of the year, no matter how remote or isolated it may be from truly navigable waters, would become “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS.


The EPA is overstepping its bounds. I don’t want the federal government to be able to tell me how to use my land, no matter how moist it is. Do you?


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