Micromanaging water – Who doesn’t get it

by Cate Moore on August 12, 2014

We reported in our last newsletter about how the EPA is trying, once again, to extend its authority over ALL of the waters of the United States.  They’ve been slapped down multiple times by the Supreme Court, the Legislature has been unsupportive, but their quest continues.

Rural industries across the country have been protesting these proposed rules.  For those of us in local forestry who are already trying to resolve conflicts between the Fish and Wildlife Service, CalFire, and the Water Quality Control Board, another layer of bureaucracy, with its own unique agenda, is about the last thing we need.

Being dutiful citizens, we wrote our Representative, Anna Eshoo, opposing the proposed rules and got the following response:

Thank you for contacting me about the importance of upholding the Clean Water Act and protecting our nation’s waters from pollution. We agree with each other.

 On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly proposed a rule to clarify that upstream waters, such as tributaries and wetlands, are indeed protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). These waters were intended by Congress to be protected by the CWA, but complicated Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 have caused confusion and uncertainty about which streams are actually protected. I’m an unswerving supporter of the CWA, and I support the EPA’s rulemaking because it will clarify application of the Act and uphold the CWA’s legacy of protecting our nation’s pristine waters for drinking, recreation, and wildlife.

 Last year, I joined several of my House colleagues in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, urging her to move forward with a strong rule that protects all waters of the United States. A copy of our letter is enclosed for your perusal. I’m pleased that the EPA and Army Corps have proposed a strong rule that will protect our nation’s wetlands and streams as Congress intended when it passed the CWA over 40 years ago.

It’s not exactly what I would call the most encouraging response.  Obviously, we need to step up our game in educating her.


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