EPA To Control Private Streams And Creeks

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By Paul Martin

December 9, 2013

(Tara Dodrill) Proposed EPA regulations could soon impact how you use streams on your own land.

The controversial Environmental Protection Agency proposals, previously reported byOff The Grid News, were listed as priorities on the White House’s 2013 fall regulatory agenda released in late November.

The proposals would define “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act as including not only rivers and lakes but also streams, because the EPA says, streams are “connected to and have important effects on downstream waters” – that is, rivers and larger bodies of water.

EPA’s definition of streams would include large and small creeks and streams and also seasonal creeks and streams, the proposal said. The proposal further said that wetlands and open-waters in floodplains of streams and rivers “are integrated with streams and rivers.”

There are 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams in America, according to the EPA. No doubt, thousands if not a few million homes on private property reside next to streams, which often run through what homeowners would call ditches.

The White House regulatory agenda said the Clean Water Act contains language that, because of court rulings, has led to uncertainty. The law “could benefit from additional clarification through rulemaking,” the EPA said.

Texas Republican Representative Lama Smith, the Chairman of the House Science Committee, called the EPA’s proposed action “unprecedented.” He said:

The EPA’s draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S. This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever. If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams.

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