Its important to point out the relationship between regulation and the police. Like laws, regulations are enforced with a barrel of a gun by agents of the state.
Almost always designed to accommodate enriched interests at the expense of new comers who are attempting to enter any particular line of production, regulations are usually enforced by federal, state, and local agencies belonging to the executive and unilateral arm of government.
Keeping with that tradition, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that the EPA has issued new rules via executive fiat, to protect even privately owned small streams, tributaries and wetlands from pollution and development.
Critics are claiming the new executive mandate would supersede property owners’ rights on any piece of land that contains any body of water – including a ditch that fills with rain water.
Heritage Foundation Agricultural Policy Research Fellow Daren Bakst explained the ramifications of the rule, stating “Property owners will not be able to engage in activities they should be able to engage in. This will be devastating to private property rights.”
Working in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the update to the Clean Water Act of 1972 declares bodies of water, in addition to the lakes, rivers and streams addressed in the 1972 law, as protected.
This move comes after two separate Supreme Court rulings prohibiting the EPA and USACE’s previous attempts to expand on the Clean Water Act.
The EPA says the new unilateral mandate is aimed at addressing public backlash over its interest in ditches and other insignificant water accumulations.
“We’re limiting protection to ditches that function like tributaries and can carry pollution downstream like those constructed out of streams, the EPA said in a blog post. “Our proposal talked about upland ditches, and we got feedback that the word ‘upland’ was confusing, so we’ll approach ditches from another angle.”
House Speaker John Boehner called the rule “a raw and tyrannical power grab that will crush jobs.”
Well, I guess Boehner would know a “tyrannical power grab” when he sees one having participated in many himself, but the Ohio Republican said, “the rule is being shoved down the throats of hard-working people with no input, and places landowners, small businesses, farmers, and manufacturers on the road to a regulatory and economic hell.”
The Obama administration is expected to announce the final version of the rule change in the coming days.
If caught in violation of the rule, the feds reserve the right to confiscate your property, fine, imprison, and if you resist, even kill you.
Ah, protecting the environment… its for the children you see…