April 2, 2009, right as the Senate was leaving for spring break, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and 23 co-sponsors introduced legislation that would amend the Clean Water Restoration Act (S. 787), which is similar to legislation introduced in the 110th Congress. Passage of the bill would change the term “navigable waters” to say “waters of the United States”
“(25) WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘waters of the United States’ means all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters (including tributaries of those waters), to the maximum extent that those waters, or activities affecting those waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.
‘‘(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term ‘waters of the United States’ includes lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, and natural ponds, and all impoundments of those waters.’’
What does this mean to you and me? This legislation will require a Clean Water Act permit for gutters, driveways, culverts, agricultural ditches, farm ponds and roadside ditches would dramatically increase the time required to process permits and create a backlog of projects. The bill also adds “all activities affecting these waters” a land use control provision that appears to be with out limits.
That means that the federal government can say that your favorite fishing hole (even though it is on your property) is now off limits, or your cattle grazing near the pond, marsh can no longer be there. You can no longer take the kids from the youth group down the river for the annual raft trip. The rain that has been collected on the rain buckets to water your garden is federal water and subject to a permit!
The real goal of the Clean Water Restoration Act (S787) is to give Corps and EPA Control over your water and all your watersheds. That means National Land Use Controls as well as control over all your water and land.
Farmers, Ranchers and private land owners have been taking care of all assets of their land and that includes water resources. They have maintained, nurtured, terraced against erosion, reserved runoff, and have been diligent custodians of ponds and creeks for generations as anyone would do when they have a invested interest.
This bill will have a huge impact on business, agriculture, small communities, rural America, farming, ranching and all private lands. It will overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
Give this bill any name you want, the Clean Water Restoration Act is NOT about clean water, it IS about expansion & consolidation of federal power. It's about federal attempts to micromanage private property around the country. It's about More BIG Government. It's unConstitutional.
CWRA (S787) will vastly expand the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers and the EPA. That would give the government jurisdiction over nearly all private and Federal land. It will also give them the right to Trespass.
What do YOU do? Begin by calling your Senators; tell them to not support S. 787 “The Clean Water Restoration Act”. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Then focus on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
I will make this easy for you.... CLICK HERE to find any elected official!!