Last week, Sen. Rand Paul joined Mitch McConnell in coming to the aid of Kentuckians in our lopsided battle for a sensible environmental policy by introducing the Defense of Environment and Property Act.
This piece of legislation would provide a commonsense and definitive delineation for what makes a “navigable waterway,” a term which the EPA currently has unilateral power to define and enact mandates. For too long, the EPA has played fast and loose with what waterways it considers under its jurisdiction, even ruling that ephemeral streams temporarily formed by recent rainstorms are under its jurisdiction.
As a result of the EPA’s nonsensical notions for what makes a waterway “navigable,” the bloated federal bureaucracy has succeeded in blocking close to 40 mining permits and brought a halt to millions of dollars of economic activity in the commonwealth. Even private landowners whose property is wetted by snow-melt are not safe. If they want to build on their property, the EPA’s cronies are liable to come after them.
Kentuckians have had enough, and so has Sen. Rand Paul:
“Environmental protection must be balanced with the constitutional right to private property. I have spoken with several Americans who have fallen victim to the EPA and Army Corps’ aggressive breach of power. This act will restore common sense to the federal jurisdiction over navigable waters, place necessary limitations on out-of-control government agencies and protect our right to private property.”
This is the second piece of legislation sponsored by Kentucky senators in recent weeks designed to put some limits on EPA overreach The first was Mitch McConnell’s Coal Jobs Protection Act.