I wont pretend my query had anything to do with it, but I sure am gratified to find some Washington action in the matter of EPA and the deliberate prostituting of the Clean Water Act. Now I find that Kansas Senator Pat Roberts and 29 other senators have introduced legislation to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing its proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. The senators contend the rule would allow the agency to take over all private and state waters in the U.S. by expanding its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Senator Roberts says he wants to make sure the expansion of regulatory jurisdiction over Waters of the U.S. is shelved for good - and he says the legislation, if adopted, would prohibit the EPA Administrator, and the Army Corps of Engineers Secretary from finalizing the rule, or trying a similar regulation in the future.
I did wonder, just a week or so ago, why we were hearing about all kinds of testimony in opposition to the proposed rule change, but we were hearing no indication that anybody was hearing that testimony - - - or even listening. The report of the action by the Gentleman from Kansas, and his 29 colleagues is encouraging, of course. The sad part of the story is that Senator Pat Roberts, the author, is a Republican - and so are all the 29 other Senators who signed on with him. For any positive effect, this proposal needs at least 51 Senators signed on. There are not that many Republicans in the Senate. You wont find any Democrats jumping on that bandwagon, but even if they did, and assuming House approval, does anybody think the President would sign it? Of course not.
There is a bit of information on one of the MSU websites that includes an observation which, to me, appears reconciled to the new ruling. It goes this way, in part, .......It is clear that under these expanded rules, the Clean Water Act will reach nearly every creek, stream and ditch across America. That particular presentation holds out a little hope, without naming names or circumstances, in that it says, How the EPA proceeds with the enforcement will determine how much of an impact you will see on your individual farm.
The National Association of Counties analysis asserts the new rule, if implemented, would affect county-owned and maintained roadside ditches, channels, drainage conveyances, stormwater systems, and green infrastructure maintenance.
So - - its far-reaching and all-encompassing? You bet it is - its the Feds, well on the way to becoming Big Brother.
Karl Guenther is a retired Kalamazoo farm broadcaster and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . He is a member of Michigan Farm Bureau and an emeritus member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. (accompanying picture is a screen capture from YouTube)