WV Farm Bureau Magazine July 2015 - Page 4

PRESIDENTIAL PARADIGMS Will Congress Stop the EPA? Charles Wilfong, President, West Virginia Farm Bureau this rule, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will be given control of virtually all water and all land in the United States. The extent to which this wipes away our private property rights is mindnumbing. Let me give you a few examples of the waters that will be controlled under the new rule: The EPA’s final rule defining ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) was published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2015. This final rule is even worse that we had been expecting. It establishes federal power far beyond what EPA had proposed just over a year ago. Under “ objective of the EPA. As we have warned in the past, there will be limitless new regulations and permit requirements for what have always been normal farming practices. These permits will be accompanied by fees that EPA can set at their discretion. Never before have we seen a non-elected government agency seize private property rights as the EPA does under this rule. EPA has a long history of overreach, but this far outpaces anything they’ve attempted before. This rule destroys the basic right of ownership and use of private property. Never before have we seen a nonelected government agency seize private property rights as the EPA does under this rule.” • All navigable water • All tributaries of navigable waters • Any waters within 4000 feet of a tributary • Any pothole, pool, pond, wetland, ditch, ephemeral, or land feature that has any connection to any of the above-mentioned waters • All waters within a 100-year floodplain Just these definitions of controlled waters take in virtually all waters in West Virginia and in the rest of the country. So, if all our waters are included in the rule, that means that all of our land will be included and controlled under the rule as well. This control of land use has long been an 4 West Virginia Farm Bureau News Congress must act. EPA should be de-funded and returned to the role it was originally intended to have, rather than the activist role it has now assumed. The power to make and implement these kinds of excessive rules and regulations should never have been given to any government agency, and it must be ended.