Déjà vu. Yet another EPA regulation is causing problems across the nation. This time, it is the EPA’s redefinition of the “Waters of the United States.” Known as WOTUS, for short, the revised definition gives the EPA new regulatory authority over local streams, farm irrigation ponds, and roadside ditches. The new definition eliminates the term “navigable,” meaning that now the EPA can issue regulations on almost any puddle of water that forms after a heavy rainfall.
It gets worse. Evidence has been revealed that the EPA illegally sought out liberal environmental groups to artificially boost the amount of comments in favor of the new regulations. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 98 percent of the comments appeared to be non-substantive mass mailings.
Farmers, ranchers, land owners, and many others are worried that their businesses and ways of life will be handed some prohibition that will bring their livelihoods to a screeching halt. Now that virtually every body of water from puddle to pond is under the EPA’s scrutiny, who knows when that letter demanding a business stop operations due to some claimed environmental problem will come.
While working for a New Jersey State Senator, I encountered several constituents who would reach out to the office asking for help with environmental regulations. One constituent had a parcel of land that was unusable because it had been labeled as potential habitat for endangered species due to the pond on the property. The pond had dried up long ago, but that didn’t stop the order from being handed to the resident.
WOTUS has resulted in lawsuits filed by twenty-nine states across the country. Corruption, burdensome and overreaching regulations, lawsuits; I wish this was all news when it came to the EPA. Unfortunately, this is just another page in a long book of excess government hurting Americans everywhere.