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  • The Clean Water Restoration Act Means Troubled Waters For Property Owners

    Troubled waters

    The Waxman-Markey global warming bill is far and away the most worrisome environmental measure currently working its way through Congress, but it is certainly not the only cause for concern. Despite the all-encompassing global warming debate (and perhaps because of it) other problematic green measures are also being rushed through the House or Senate with minimal discussion. One such measure is S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA). Like Waxman-Markey, the CWRA would do much more harm than good, especially for farmers, ranchers, developers, energy producers, and other property owners. The Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee has hurriedly scheduled June 18th as the day to both debate and vote on the bill.

    For years, the 1972 Clean Water Act has been misused in the name of protecting Americas waters and wetlands. The statute’s original limitation that its key provisions only apply to navigable waters was largely ignored. Instead, the law was broadly applied to a wide variety of circumstances, including remote and inconsequential drainage ditches or temporary puddles and even to completely dry land.

    The statute’s complex and costly provisions interfered with the economic use of the lands it encompassed, including farming and ranching operations, construction of housing and other buildings, and domestic oil and gas production.

    Fortunately, two Supreme Court decisions, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States in 2001, and Rapanos v. United States in 2006 partially reined in these excesses.

    Now, the CWRA seeks to overturn these Supreme Court decisions and make the statute more expansive than ever. In fact, it would turn the Clean Water Act into what some analysts believe to be the most dangerous federal intrusion on private property rights in existence. First, it seeks to remove the limitation that the statute only apply to navigable waters and apply it to all waters of the United States. Then it seeks to broadly define such waters as not just “all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams),” but also “mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds….” Yes, prairie potholes. Note also that the CWRA makes clear that intrastate as well as interstate waters are the purview of the feds.

    The CWRA is an invitation for federal regulators (or environmental organizations filing lawsuits) to shut down any use of land that they don’t like so long as there is a little water somewhere in the vicinity. If the past is any guide, this law will be used to stop a tremendous amount of economic activity. Though not as far-reaching as Waxman Markey, the CWRA would be a serious blow to the rural economy, not to mention private property rights.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    30 Responses to The Clean Water Restoration Act Means Troubled Waters For Property Owners

    1. Pingback: Clean Water Restoration Act Gains Detractors · Environmental Leader · Green Business, Sustainable Business, and Green Strategy News for Corporate Sustainability Executives

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    3. Thomas, Northern NY says:

      Just another way for the Obama administration to deliberately cripple our economy. If you have a plant growing on your property that is indigenous to wetlands, you'll be paying some worthless engineering company for a worthless environmental impact study, and then begging the government to let you build something, anything. Then the government will do you a big favor and let you build on a fraction of your property, conditional on "mitigation". Translation, investing more in your property, to make it even more worthless and unusable. Of course your taxes will still be due each year, even as this process drags on. And even though you can only actually use a fraction of your property, the taxes will never go down, and you won't ever be able to sell it. All of this, and there may never be a drop of water within sight of your property. I've been there.

      I'm also a Ducks Unlimited member, and can't believe that they are all for this. Did anyone actually read the damn bill? If the government wants to keep you off your property to breed more ducks, then let them buy it from you, or take it off the tax rolls. What is the point of this legislation?

    4. Robert Davis says:

      This is just one more piece of legislation that will defeat a bunch of rural Democrats who are blindly stumbling along with Obama in spite of his radical far left agenda which is totally out of step with the country. Get ready for 2010. There will be a Republican tsunami is they can wake up and find some candidates who can articulate the Reagan philosophy. Man how I miss Ronald Reagan.

    5. JAC Pa says:

      I think only those who think they will need access to water (ie drinking) will need to be concerned about this.

    6. Tim AZ says:

      When will they decide how much water you can pump from your well or the citys well? How much will the tax be on your water use? Don't even think about collecting rain water from your roof that belongs to them too. It's not enough that all living things are based on carbon and we need to rid the planet of that. We are now going to control water a far greater percentage of which constitutes all living things.

    7. Dennis Idaho says:

      The air we breath is next. Or is that included in the "Taxman/Malarkey bill?

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    9. John W Ross, PE---Su says:

      Half of the voting American people are so ignorant of our country and what made it the greatest in the world elected the worst by far president in history. Obama is so far markist left I can't believe what has already happened to our country; and in just the first 6 months with blind man in office. I pray conservative republicans to rise up in mass soon and stop this.

    10. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      When do we stop this???

    11. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Communism,socialism, amd marxism at its best. Our freedoms are going by the way of the trash, just as the Constitution will soon follow. When do we stand up and tell obama that he is wrong and we will not put with him and his agenda anymore.

    12. Howard Rampy says:

      We begin by raising some hell now with those in DC and vote straight republican ticket. Yes, some are squirrels, but we can make the difference by starting in 2010 and then landslide the mental incompetents out in 2012….

      Any system from a conservative base will give us the ground swell needed to start taking back this country strong again and beef up military support $$ with a missle defense system, but most of all get the financial situation from the edge of the cliff as to where it is now…. it is almost at the bottom of the gorge….

      Get rid of the rats in DC now….!!!!!

    13. Darlene J, Greenvill says:

      Yes, we need to get the parasites out that sit under the state and federal capitol domes, and we start firstly with our own states, and kick the feds out, and bring our government back to its constitutional limitations! The feds cannot come into any state without the state asking them to.

      Then we vote us in and kick the state legislatures out!

      We do not need more legislation, but we begin to repeal all co mingling legislation with the feds, and get rid of the alphabet soup group parasitical agencies, for even though we replace those now sitting in their corrupted political seats, the many administrative corrupted agency's they've created live forever. These agency's carry the full force and effect of the law with little to no oversight.

      We need to repeal this insanity of only attorney's being able to "represent" us for the judges, attorney's and prosecutors are all part of the "boys" club. Though an attorney may pretend to be representing YOU, they are first loyal to the state, and then that "judge".

      We need to get the "attorney" first out of the part of being a judge for again, not only do they now legislate from the bench, but how many of you know that for every conviction, the "judge" gets a portion of whatever fine they impose put into their retirement fund?

      The entire system is corrupted and filed with parasites who live like kings and queens off our back!

      Darlenej

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    15. Barbara C, Green Val says:

      Dear God, just as you think they have about reached the end to what they can tax and stick their noses into. More territory for them to stop expansion and growth of our economy. This is CRAZY!!!!!

    16. Richard Cook, Califo says:

      This has gone to far when i start tasting fabric softner in my water the point must be known this has gone far enough

    17. Pingback: Ridenbaugh Press/Water Rights » Water rights in clean water act?

    18. rica11 says:

      All I can say is that Our country is now locked into a colonial system that endorses and exaggerates the accumulation of private wealth rather than of public health.

      phoenix water damage restoration

    19. Grace Zimmerman Ana says:

      What is happening to the people's rights? To think that my little farm pond will be under control of the EPA working with the dictatorial effects of the Corps of Engineers? Look at their past records of court cases! How can by little farm pond or little potholes be declared a navigable water? This bill must have been lobbied by lawyers as they can see the "writing on the wall" for the many court cases which will evolve as a result of this travesty of justice!!

    20. Steve S., Portland, says:

      I would humbly suggest that commenters on the page actually read the bill. The quotation is taken from Justice Scalia's opinion in Rapanos, nothing like it is in the bill.

    21. Annie ( Buying Prope says:

      Excellent blog this foundry.org well done and I was really pleased to see : this it's just what I needed to know.

      It's taken me literally 2 hours and 08 minutes of searching the web to find foundry.org (lol) ;)

      But seriously I am really interested in Commercial Property normally and so I shall be very pleased to become a regular visitor

      See you soon

    22. NH says:

      Once they can control who lives or dies, how much energy we use, and our food and water, they can impose totalitarian communism upon us…. as planned.

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    24. Pingback: Clean Water Restoration Act Gains Detractors | watersanity

    25. Jdub, says:

      I am also questioning if the original poster has read the bill. It gives significant provisions to ranchers/farmers and similar land owners.

      the original poster also conveniently leaves out the hundreds of Clean Water Act cases that have not been able to be resolved due to the ambiguity in the original Clean Water Act.

      Should an industry not have to pay for the environmental externalities of creating their product? How does pollution affect our liberty? Sometimes I think the Heritage Foundation is more concerned with making sure corporations can turn a few extra dollars in profit than the actual liberty of America's citizens.

    26. Pingback: Obama’s ReMarxable State | Clarion Advisory

    27. Pingback: A Call to Arms: Defeating the Democratic Communist Agenda | Pure Spontaneity

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    29. Billsocal says:

      You can add the CLEAR Act, Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act to this. We lose control over the Great Lakes and our water off shore. This why Obama has banned drilling operation if the Gulf. Another bill to worry about is the Livable Communities Act (SB1619). Sen Dodd farewell screwing of the American public. The Clean Water Act also might explain why the BLM took livestock from a Rancher in Nye County, NV with no legal court order. The rancher had water rights under Nevada Law. What is going on.

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