Under the disguise of clarifying the scope of the federal Clean Water Act of 1970 (CWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new rule that would redefine “navigable waters” by eliminating the word ‘navigable’ so that virtually every area that gets wet during rainfall could be regulated. The new rule would broadly expand the types of waters and lands that would be subject to federal permit requirements. It is clear that Congress did not intend the CWA to extend federal regulations to such wet lands ; otherwise, Congress would not have used the term “navigable.” This overreaching action of EPA also defies previous admonitions of the U.S. Supreme Court.
If finalized as proposed the new rule would threaten the viability of farmers and ranchers who would need a federal permit to conduct many operations in non-navigable wet lands and areas. For example constructing a bridge over a creek could require a federal permit from EPA. Commonsense tells me that If non-navigable wet lands and areas require regulation, state and local governments should do so at the local level.
Good Day, such as it is today in these United States of America.