Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy claims critics overstate the reach of her agency’s controversial new “Waters of the United States” rule.
McCarthy swears the regulation is meant only to “simplify and clarify” the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) passed by Congress in 1972 to control pollution in rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Opponents of the EPA’s latest action, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warn the rule is yet another power grab by President Obama’s administration that not only will hurt several sectors of Kentucky’s – and the nation’s – economy but also diminishes states’ authority and threatens property rights.
“Claiming EPA jurisdiction over an area of private property just because a small pond or ditch is there is ridiculous,” McConnell wrote in a recent op-ed. “If the EPA can do this, what can’t it do?”
Statements by McCarthy and other representatives in the administration attempting to justify the new rule offer plenty of reason to question – with strong suspicion – their intentions.
In fact, a bit of testing reveals that the levels of political pollution in the spring from which the new clean water rule burst forth are more toxic to Kentucky’s farmers and builders than the dirtiest portion of the Ohio River.
Let’s start by testing the levels of toxicity found in the responses springing forth from one of the confidants of McCarthy’s thin-skinned boss, demeaning those with legitimate concerns about the new regulation.
“The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water,” White House senior adviser Brian Deese told reporters.
Is the rural Kentucky farmer who dares to express his concern that the new regulation could prevent him not only from engaging in traditional farming practices but also from changing his operation in ways needed to remain profitable somehow a “polluter” without concern about the water his family – or cattle – drinks?
Do White House elites really count the Northern Kentucky home builder concerned about being blocked from moving forward with a planned development that provides financial security for him and his family for generations to come among the “polluters who threaten our clean water?”
Is the Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) a “pro-pollution” organization based on its alerts warning that the new water rule threatens to bleed dry the policy of federalism established by the Clean Water Act?
“The CWA established a system of cooperative federalism that preserves primary state authority over land and water uses, but prohibits certain ‘discharges’ into ‘navigable waters’ from a ‘point source’ (i.e., a pipe or conveyance) unless authorized by federal permit,” a KFB communique stated.
Such balance – the recognition of the need to ensure a clean, safe water supply but with an approach that works with states rather than against them – can be found nowhere in the tactics of the out-of-touch radicals who control the EPA.
KFB’s release noted the EPA’s new rule threatens a long-standing policy – based upon the 1972 law and the intentions of those who wrote it – that “state and local governments have jurisdiction over smaller, more remote waters, such as many ponds and isolated wetlands.”
Supporters of the new regulation make bogus, unsubstantiated assertions that more federal involvement is required because states aren’t getting the job done.
It approaches the height of absurdity to believe that Kentucky miners, farmers and builders who themselves must drink the water on the land where they live wouldn’t be at least as vigilant in protecting the commonwealth’s rivers, lakes and streams as some polluted politician or brow-beating bureaucrat in broken-down Washington.