Monday, May 25, 2015

EPA's looming power grab over water leaves businesses 'scared to death'

The Obama administration is set to unveil new protections for America's bodies of waters that will give the Environmental Protection Agency broad powers to regulate thousands of businesses and homeowners.

The EPA's "waters of the United States," or WOTUS, regulation is set for issuance this week, the Hill reported. Its premise is to provide more protection for minor bodies of water, like wetlands, streams and ponds, using the authorities already granted the feds under the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Opponents say the measure goes too far and will strictly regulate the activities of businesses and residents, while providing little anti-pollution results. For instance, farmers, miners, developers and manufacturers say the rule would even clamp down on land uses by ditches, dry creekbeds, puddles and even soggy grounds, the Hill reported.

The EPA and the Democrat-led field of regulation supporters, however, say the rule only gives the federal agency control over an extra three percent of areas it already oversees.

"Our members are scared to death of it," said Jack Mozloom, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, in the Hill, "because their property is their business in many cases. They're accustomed to dealing with their respective state environmental enforcement agencies, and this adds an entirely new and disturbing layer of federal bureaucracy on top of all that."

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