Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - Fax: 360-687-2973
E-mail: alra@pacifier.com
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

Farm Bureau Launches "Ditch the Rule Website"

Stop EPA & Corps Wetlands Jurisdiction Land & Water Grab

EPA and Corps Trying To Undermine "Navigable" Rule

EPA Corps Release New Wetlands Jurisdiction Regulations

Federal Register Clean Water Act instructions below.

-----Please forward this important message widely. This is a huge issue that threatens millions of Americans.

-----Rural America Threatened by EPA and Corps Clean Water Act Regulations.

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Ditch the Rule Website Launched By Farm Bureau

The Farm Bureau has launched the Ditch the Rule website at http://ditchtherule.fb.org/

Focused on topics and analysis related to the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corp of Engineers' recent release of the "waters of the U.S." proposed rule, the easy-to-navigate site includes several sections:

Take Action,
Go Social,
Find Answers and
Get Resources.

Visitors may also sign up to learn more, comment on the proposed rule and send tweets using the hashtag #DitchTheRule.

From the Farm Bureau:

Otterby: American Farm Bureau is calling on its grassroots to bring attention to its concerns regarding the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and how it will negatively affect farmers and ranchers. Farm Bureau chief lobbyist Dale Moore says Farm Bureau wants members to get involved in its new "Ditch the Rule" grassroots campaign.

Moore: We want our grassroots members letting their members of Congress know this EPA rule violates the intention of Congress in the Clean Water Act. That we need Congress to stop EPA's ability to move forward on a rule that we believe is just flat wrong.

Otterby: Moore says Farm Bureau is also asking members to contact their state and local officials. Farm Bureau believes EPA's proposed rule is an end-run around congressional intent and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, that EPA doesn't have regulatory power in this issue.

Moore: If this rule goes into place, those state officials and local officials will lose their ability to make decisions on local economic development, land use planning and other things that folks who are closest to it can make the best decision. It appears to be an effort to move all of that to Washington, D.C.

Otterby: EPA says certain exemptions will protect farmers from the new rule, but Moore says they only apply to longstanding farms, not new farms.

Moore: These exemptions, they've been narrowed and made regulatory by the EPA guidance. This is just one more effort that the EPA, by saying that they're providing certainty, they've provided certainty, and the certainty is this new rule dramatically expands their jurisdiction over not just the waters, but the lands of the U.S.

Otterby: That's why Farm Bureau says it's time to ditch the rule.

Seanica Otterby, Farm Bureau, Washington, DC.

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The EPA and Corps of Engineers continue their effort to bypass the word "Navigable" in the Clean Water Act thereby expanding the lands and waters they can regulate to nearly all waters and lands in the United States.

If successful, the EPA and Corps will effectively undermine the word "Navigable" in Clean Water Act so the EPA and Corps of Engineers will have wetlands jurisdiction over all waters of the United States and "all activities affecting all waters of the United States."

That means private property, ranching, farming, mining, logging, recreation, rural roads and many other uses. That includes nearly all land in the U.S. also.

Congress must take away the money (defund) the EPA and Corps can use for new Clean Water Act regulations.

You can stop the EPA and Corps by getting both your Senators and your Congressman to support taking the funding away from the EPA and Corps for their proposed new Clean Water Act regulations.

This is important because the EPA just released their proposed new Wetlands Jurisdiction Regulations and a new report on Wetlands and the jurisdiction of EPA and the Corps of Engineers over most of the water and land in the US.

Call your Senator at 202-224-3121 for a copy of the new EPA wetlands jurisdiction report. That is important to engage them in a dialogue about the term "Navigable" and Wetlands Jurisdiction. You can also type:

Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121 and make the same request. It idea is to get both your Senators and your Congressman up to speed on this issue and taking action to protect you. That means taking the money away from EPA and Corps for these new regulations.

-----Type EPA Clean Water Act Regulations into Google.

-----Click on Rules and Regulations

-----You should find the following screen at the EPA Website:

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Waters of the United States Proposed Rule

Clarifying protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources.

Read the press release

Read an op-ed by EPA Administrator McCarthy

Read the proposed rule

Access all documents related to this rulemaking

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From the Federal Register:

DATES: Submit comments on or before July 21, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 by one of the following methods:

o Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

o Email: ow-docket@epa.gov . Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.

o Mail: Send the original and three copies of your comments to:
Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 2822T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Washington, DC 20460
Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

o Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver your comments to:
 EPA Docket Center EPA West, Room 3334, 1301
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.
Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket's normal hours of operation, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The telephone number for the Water Docket is 202-566-2426.
Instructions: Direct your comments to
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880.

Action Items #1

-----1. Call both your Senators at (202) 224-3121. Urge them to take the funding away from the EPA and Corps for their new Clean Water Act Regulations.

-----2. Go to EPA Website. EPA just published comment instructions for their new regulations. Just type into Google:

EPA Clean Water Act Regulations

Click on Laws and Regulations

-----3. Forward this message to at least 10 other people. Your whole list if possible.

The EPA must be stopped from taking this jurisdiction and bypassing the requirement in the Clean Water Act that the EPA and Corps are limited to jurisdiction over "Navigable" waters. If EPA and Corps are successful they will gain jurisdiction and regulatory authority over virtually all "land and waters in the U.S."

"EPA just released a draft report titled "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of Scientific Evidence." The report synthesizes recent scientific literature and is being used by EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers in their rulemaking process to clarify (read bypass) the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. (Undermine "Navigable".)

You must educate your Senators and Congressman about the EPA and Corps and their attempt to dilute or eliminate the "navigable waters" requirement.

As EPA states in its introduction, "Recent decisions of the Supreme Court have underscored the need for EPA and the public to better understand the connectivity of isolation of streams and wetlands relative to larger water bodies such as rivers, lakes, estuaries, and oceans, and to use that understanding to underpin regulatory actions."

The report is intended to clarify "connectivity," or in reality what EPA and Corps are really trying to do is provide a rationale for undermining "navigable" in the Clean Water Act. This will have a huge impact on the construction and storm water industries as well as farming, ranching, mining and rural America.

The report's three broad conclusions, as summarized by EPA, are: (They are really trying to find a way to get at you and bypass "Navigable" as outlined by the Supreme Court.

-----1. Streams-both permanent and ephemeral, and of all sizes-are connected and have effects on downstream waters.

-----2. Wetlands within stream floodplains are integrated with streams and rivers and strongly influence downstream waters by affecting flow and trapping pollutants.

-----3. Not enough information exists to generalize about wetlands and other open waters outside riparian floodplains and their effects on downstream waters.

EPA says public comments on the report will be taken into account before the rule is finalized. This sounds like nonsense. They published their rule before the public comment and then say they're going to use the public comment. You believe that, right?

The EPA and Army Corps are trying to push through new "Expanded Clean Water Act Wetlands Jurisdiction Regulations" that would effectively neutralize and bypass the Supreme Court decisions that said the EPA and Corps cannot regulate all waters in the Nation or even all waters with a hydrological connection to downstream "navigable waters."

New EPA and Army Corp's Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Regulations appear to be modeled after their now withdrawn Wetlands Guidance Regulations. These new Jurisdiction Regulations would allow these agencies to regulate waters now considered entirely under state jurisdiction.

Reed Hopper of Pacific Legal Foundation said, "If the new proposed jurisdictional rule follows suit, it will be the largest power grab in the history of the country. Although the new proposed jurisdictional rule can and will be challenged, the courts are required to give great deference to agency rulemaking."

Agriculture, commercial and residential real estate development, electric transmission, transportation, energy development and mining will all be affected and thousands of jobs will be lost. The residual effect of these regulations will be to increase costs and spread more costs and red tape to every landowner.

Thousands of small communities and rural America will be strangled if the rule is approved. Any action taken by you on your water could require a permit from the Corps of Engineers.

The EPA is saying they are not going to change Agriculture wetlands rules. ALRA believes EPA will likely apply the rule to farmers and ranchers later. EPA is trying to divide and conquer those involved in agriculture. Please call your both Senators and your Congressman now. Any Senator can be called at (202) 224-3121. Any Congressman can be called at (202) 225-3121.

ALRA is carrying out the largest campaign in our history to inform our Members and allies about the danger from the new Report and Regulations now moving forward by the EPA and Corps. ALRA is sending tens of thousands of letters, faxes and e-mails to get as many people as possible to send testimony to Congress stop the EPA and Corps and protect "Navigable" requirement.

EPA: Waters of the United States
"We are clarifying protection for the upstream waters that are absolutely vital to downstream communities," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Clean water is essential to every single American, from families who rely on safe places to swim and healthy fish to eat to farmers who need abundant and reliable sources of water to grow their crops."

"Today's rulemaking will better protect our aquatic resources, by strengthening the consistency, predictability, and transparency of our jurisdictional determinations," said Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. "The rule's clarifications will result in a better public service nationwide."

The health of rivers, lakes, bays, and coastal waters depend on the streams and wetlands where they begin, said McCarthy. About 60 percent of stream miles in the U.S. only flow seasonally or after rain, but have a considerable impact on the downstream waters. And approximately 117 million people - one in three Americans - get drinking water from public systems that rely in part on these streams.

Farm and crop protection organizations have been warning EPA intended to expand its authority under the Clean Water Act to declare intermittently-flowing streams and prairie potholes as "waters of the United States." The designation would allow EPA to include such bodies of water in its regulatory authority.

Specifically, the proposed rule clarifies that under the Clean Water Act and based on the science:
-----Most seasonal and rain-dependent streams are protected.
-----Wetlands near rivers and streams are protected.
-----Other types of waters may have more uncertain connections with downstream water and protection will be evaluated through a case specific analysis of whether the connection is or is not significant.

However, to provide more certainty, the proposal requests comment on options protecting similarly situated waters in certain geographic areas or adding to the categories of waters protected without case specific analysis.

Officials said the proposed rule preserves the Clean Water Act exemptions and exclusions for agriculture. Additionally, EPA and the Army Corps have coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an interpretive rule to ensure that 53 specific conservation practices that protect or improve water quality will not be subject to Section 404 dredged or fill permitting requirements.

The agencies will work together to implement these new exemptions and periodically review, and update USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practice standards and activities that would qualify under the exemption. Any agriculture activity that does not result in the discharge of a pollutant to waters of the U.S. still does not require a permit.

The proposed rule also helps states and tribes - according to a study by the Environmental Law Institute, 36 states have legal limitations on their ability to fully protect waters that aren't covered by the Clean Water Act.

The proposed rule is supported by the latest peer-reviewed science, including a draft scientific assessment by EPA, which presents a review and synthesis of more than 1,000 pieces of scientific literature. The rule will not be finalized until the final version of this scientific assessment is complete, officials said.

"Forty years ago, two-thirds of America's lakes, rivers and coastal waters were unsafe for fishing and swimming. Because of the Clean Water Act, that number has been cut in half. However, one-third of the nation's waters still do not meet standards," an EPA spokesman said.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 90 days from publication in the Federal Register. The interpretive rule for agricultural activities is effective immediately.
Some farm organizations such as the USA Rice Federation reported the release of the proposed rule to its members. "The USA Rice Federation will review the proposed rule and submit official comments after it is published in the Federal Register," it said in its daily e-newsletter.

Comments from other lawmakers and farm organizations were muted compared to those by Sen. Blunt.

"While I am suspect of the impact and objectives of this rulemaking, I give the agency some credit for finally choosing to use the rulemaking process and allow for public input as Congress intended," said Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

"I encourage citizens to carefully review this proposal and weigh in with EPA to ensure that regulations like this one are based on sound science, consider economic impacts and demonstrate common sense."
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Action Items #2

-----1. Call both your Senators at (202) 224-3121. Urge them to take the funding away from the EPA and Corps for their new Clean Water Act Regulations.

-----2. Call both your Congressmen at (202) 225-3121. Ask your Congressman for a meeting when he is in your area to discuss the new EPA Corps Wetlands Jurisdiction Regulation.

-----2. Go to EPA Website for full details:
Type into Google: EPA Clean Water Act Regulations.

Go to Rules and Regulations

-----3. Forward this message to at least 10 other people. Your whole list if possible.

Thank you for your support. You'll save yourself a lot of money by helping defeat these regulations.

Sincerely,

Chuck Cushman ( ccushman@pacifier.com ) ( www.landrights.org )

PS. The plan by the EPA and Corps to bypass Congress and the Supreme Court and the word "Navigable" in the Clean Water Act to take Jurisdiction over all "waters of the US" is the biggest land and power grab in history.

You must save the word "Navigable" in the Clean Water Act. Remember, whoever controls the water, controls the land.

Your Senators and Congressman can stop these regulations.

Chuck Cushman, American Land Rights ccushman@pacifier.com

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Please forward this urgent message to at least 10 other people.

 

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