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Public Comment Period Open for Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) have jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

The proposed rule on Waters of the U.S. was published in the Federal Register Monday, April 21, 2014. This formally opened the 90-day public comment period, which has been extended to November 14, 2014.

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880, by one of the following methods:

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.

Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is 202-566-2426.


* The following was sent to KBC News regarding the proposal:

Proposed expanded definition of the Waters of the Us

Under the EPA’s proposed new rule, waters – even ditches even if they are dry most of the time and small residential fish ponds – will be regulated and even if they are several miles from the nearest ‘navigable’ waters. This proposal is NOT acceptable.           

The Expanded EPA proposal to redefine Waters of the United States under the definition of “navigable waters” poses a serious threat to (Add your comments here)

IT is recommended that you cc your objections to our legislators:

US Congressman: Doug Lamalfa   www.house.gov/lamalfa                                                              
Tom McClintock   mcclintock.house.gov                                                                                                
Calif.  Assemblyman: Brian Dahle   arc.asm.ca.gov/member/AD1                                                       
Calif.  Senator: Ted Gaines   senator.gaines@senate.ca.gov

Some suggested talking points:

Puddles, ponds, ditches, ephemerals (land that looks like a small stream during heavy rain but isn’t wet most of the time) and isolated wetlands dot the nation’s farmland. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) on March 25 issued a proposed rule that would expand its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to these types of land features and waters, giving the agencies the power to dictate land-use decisions and farming practices in or near them. The rule will make it more difficult to farm or change a farming operation to remain competitive and profitable.

EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act would expand immensely under its proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule. Among the numerous questionable provisions, the rule would define “navigable waters” so as to regulate countless ephemeral drains, ditches and “wetlands” that only contain water when it rains. But whether they are wet or dry on any given day, farming, home building, business expansions, commercial development and countless other land uses in or near these land features will require a federal permit. Permits might take years, or might never be issued. The result amounts to nothing short of federal zoning authority.

Ditches & puddles are not navigable

EPA’s implication that only the federal government is capable of protecting small bodies of water is not supported by science or facts, and EPA certainly has not provided any evidence to support that assertion.

“It threatens local land-use and zoning authority, and is an end-run around Congress and the Supreme Court.”

The EPA rule gives the fed gov control over all farming & land use.

There is absolutely no legal right to a permit to “discharge” into “navigable” waters—or any deadline on an agency’s process to issue a permit. Permitting may take months or even years, or permits may simply be unavailable.  Farmers will have to get  a permit to farm!




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