Washington, DC - "Government has grown more aggressive as it seeks to trample on our rights with regulations that are so intrusive they are positively inane, including a new one that would give the EPA the right to regulate rain water," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Weber said that he was not amused when the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would extend its authority under the Clean Water Act to include puddles.
"The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 to prevent the pollution of the nation's navigable waters. It was not intended to allow the government to tell us how to deal with naturally occurring ditches on our property just because they might collect rainwater during a storm. But that's exactly what the EPA proposes to do. It would be a joke if it wasn't for the fact that such pervasive authority is bound to cause hardships for America's farmers and for the country as a whole," Weber explained.
Mark Pflugmacher operates a family farm in Champaign County, IL. He is also a member of the Champaign County Farm Bureau. As he put it in an OpEd article published in his local paper, The News-Gazette: "If the expanded definition is allowed, permits and other regulatory roadblocks - having to hire environmental consultants, for example - would stand in the way of conducting routine business activities like building fences, removing debris from ditches, spraying for weeds and insects, and removing unwanted vegetation on my own farm."
Pflugmacher cautioned that farmers are not the only businesses that will be impacted if the EPA is given the far-reaching authority it seeks. "Home builders, real estate agents, aggregate producers, manufacturers and contractors all would be affected. For these small, local businesses, the proposed rule would increase federal regulatory power over private property. The definitions would create confusion and, because they were intentionally created to be overly broad, could be interpreted in whatever way the federal agencies see fit, costing business owners money and the local economy jobs.'
Weber described it as "yet another example of big government, or big brother, if you will, gaining control of our lives, including the cost of living. The proposed EPA restrictions on the use of plentiful, inexpensive coal to produce affordable electricity will have a profound impact on the price we pay to heat and cool our homes. The new standing water proposals will undoubtedly increase the cost of the food we eat and the homes in which we live."
The AMAC chief noted that the nation's elderly will be the ones who suffer most and called on the new Republican Congress to rein in the regulators "who are usurping the power of our Representatives and Senators to make laws."