Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003
Your Senator Votes On Huge Water Land Grab Bill Thurs., June 18
Senate Committee S 787 Wetlands Vote Thursday, June 18
Urgent! Please forward this message as widely as possible.
-----The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) is scheduled to hold a vote (mark-up) on the Clean Water Restoration Act (Wetlands) (S 787) Thursday, June 18th.
-----You are receiving this e-mail because you live in a state of a Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The vote is on the official schedule for June 18th. Urge a NO vote.
See InsideEPA news article below.
See Action Items below.
See e-mail by RJ Smith from the Center for Private Conservation below.
See entire Senate Environment and Public Works Committee below.
-----We can only get the message out fast enough if you forward this e-mail. Send it to your entire list. You are doing a great job but you must keep it up.
-----This is an urgent, all out call to action on the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) (Wetlands).
-----Call your friends, call your neighbors. You are doing a great job so far. Now is the time for a grassroots uprising.
-----Deluge your senators with calls, faxes and e-mails at (202) 224-3121. You can call any Senator at that number. Their faxes are listed below. Ask for the e-mail of the staffer in charge of this issue. You need to make sure they know they will be held responsible for their votes on this issue.
-----Do you want the Corps and EPA in your backyard?
-----Do you want the EPA and Corps to control your water?
-----Do you want the Corps and EPA to control all your watersheds that means all your land too?
------That’s what will happen if the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787) passes Congress.
-----Besides private property, the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S 787) threatens businesses, agriculture, small communities, grazing, forestry, mining and many other uses on private and Federal land. It will affect many kinds of manufacturing companies and businesses.
-----The Real Goal of the Clean Water Restoration Act (S787) is to give Corps and EPA Control over your water and all your watersheds. That means National Land Use Controls as well as control over all your water and land. That’s because all land is in a watershed. The proposed Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787), which has no House bill number yet, will give the Corps and EPA jurisdiction and control over your property and water.
-----It will redefine what the term “wetlands” means in the law. It will eliminate the requirement that the Corps and EPA limit their jurisdiction to “Navigable” waters and give those agencies control over all waters of the US or “activities” affecting those waters.
-----Congress is considering expanding the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to include “all waters of the United States” and not limit it to “navigable waters” as is currently the law under two Supreme Court Decisions, the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----Congress is also considering expanding Clean Water Act jurisdiction to include “all activities affecting these waters.” In other words, the bill is a double whammy: It expands the definition of waters and gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Corps of Engineers (Corps) and other Federal agencies control over activities that affect waters—any land use activities.
-----There has been no hearing on S 787 in this Congress.
-----Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) tried to ram through a vote on S 787 Thursday, May 7th, but there were objections. The Committee wanted to vote May 20th and June 10th but were unable to.
-----That’s because of your phone calls, e-mails and other contacts. You are doing a great job but you must keep it up.
-----Please accept our apology for the length of this message. We believed it was important for you to see the InsideEPA article as well as the RJ Smith e-mail included below.
-----Also call the National Rifle Association at (703) 267-1000 to stop their back room deal selling out farmers, ranchers and landowners. As a life member of the NRA, I want the NRA to protect our guns, not help take our land. You can read about what the NRA is doing in the news story below. – Chuck Cushman
If you live in Montana, you should know that Senator Max Baucus is working on a backroom deal to get S 787 voted out of Committee. The people in Montana must rise up and tell him no to the Clean Water Restoration Act, S 787. See Inside EPA article below about Baucus slight of hand efforts.
If you live in Tennessee, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is also working on the backroom deal to pass S 787. You need to call him and give him a piece of your mind.
If you live in Ohio, you need to ask Senator Voinovich to stop trying to pass S 787.
If you live in Minnesota, understand that Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is working with Senators Baucus (D-MT), Alexander (R-TN) and Voinovich (R-OH) in the dark of night to pass S 787.
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Action Items: Here’s what you can do to fight back.
-----1. Forward this message to your entire list if possible. This is a huge issue for rural America.
-----2. Call your Senator or Senators who are on the Environment and Public Works Committee list below to insist that the Committee hold new hearings on S 787 in this Congress before any vote. When you call, ask them to vote no on S 787. Ask for the staff person who handles S 787 and ask for his or her e-mail or fax.
-----3. You must deluge the Committee with calls requesting hearings and a no vote. Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.
-----4. Send a fax to your Senator. A faxable formatted pdf Testimony Questionnaire can be printed out from American Land Rights at www.landrights.org You can make changes.
-----5. You can get both a formatted Testimony Questionnaire that you can fax and an unformatted text version that you can put in e-mail. It is too late to use the mail. We have included the fax number for your Senator who is on the EPW Committee listed below.
-----6. You must also request a recorded vote on S 787 when they do vote. We must be able to give the Senators that vote for this huge land and water grab all the credit they deserve for their votes.
-----7. Call the National Rifle Association at (703) 267-1000. Insist that they overturn their backroom deal and come out against S 787.
-----8. You should call both your Senators even if they are not on the EPW Committee to ask that they request the EPW Committee to hold new hearings and that any Senators on the Committee they talk to vote no on S 787.
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There must be an all out call of outrage to the Senators on the Committee opposing a vote until they hold a hearing this year on the new bill S 787. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Make sure they know you oppose S 787 and urge them to vote against it.
-----Here is a list of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Members: Their phones must ring off the hook. You want new hearings held in 2009.
Call your Senators, and then call the other Senators. You can call all Senators at (202) 224-3121 or their individual offices listed below.
EPW Comm: Democrats:…PH: 202-224-8832…Fax: 224-1273
Barbara Boxer, CA (Chair)…Ph: 202-224-3553…Fax 224-1454
Max Baucus, MT…Ph: 202-224-2651…Fax 224-9412
Thomas Carper, DE…Ph: 202-224-2441…Fax 228-2190
Frank Lautenberg NJ…Ph: 202-224-3224…Fax 228-4054
Benjamin Cardin, MD…Ph: 202-224-4524…Fax 224-1651
Bernard Sanders, VT (Ind)…Ph: 202-224-5141…Fax 228-0776
Amy Klobuchar, MN…Ph: 202-224-3244…Fax 228-2186
Sheldon Whitehouse, RI…Ph: 202-224-2921 Fax 228-6362
Tom Udall, NM…Ph: 202-224-6621…Fax 228-3261
Jeff Merkley OR…Ph: 202-224-3753…Fax 228-3997
Kirsten Gillibrand, NY…Ph: 202-224-4451…Fax 228-0282
Arlen Specter, PA…Ph: 202-222-4254…Fax 228-4254
EPW Republicans:…PH: 202-224-6176…Fax: 224-5167
James Inhofe, OK (Rnk. Mem.)…Ph: 202-224-4721…Fax 228-0380
George Voinovich, OH…Ph: 202-224-3353…Fax 228-1382
David Vitter, LA…Ph: 202-224-4623…Fax 228-5061
John Barrasso, WY…Ph: 202-224-6441…Fax 224-1724
Mike Crapo, ID…Ph: 202-224-6142…Fax 228-1375
Christopher Bond, MO…Ph: 202-224-5721…Fax 224-8149
Lamar Alexander, TN…Ph: 202-224-4944…Fax 228-3398
Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters
Key Wetlands Bill Coming In Congress. It is called the Clean Water Restoration Act. The new Senate number is S 787.
This committee will decide the future of the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) that threatens you. So you have more power to influence the Senators on the Committee.
You then need to call, fax or e-mail them letting your Senators know of your opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act. The EPW Committee is trying to avoid holding hearings. You need to insist that they hold new hearings and request to be notified about the hearings and if possible, ask to testify.
No number has been designated yet in the House. It should be introduced in the House soon. You must contact both your Senators immediately even if they are not on the Committee.
The Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) is bouncing around the House Committee. It should be introduced shortly.
Here are the two Committees that have jurisdiction. You can see a complete list of committee members at www.landrights.org
-----House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
-----Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
------We again apologize in advance for the length of this e-mail. But we are trying to give you the tools to be effective with your Congressman and both Senators. We are trying to shorten the e-mails by placing material on the website with links.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act is a massive land and water grab. You need to read the following information and then contact both your Senators and your Congressman.
-----Early action by you gives us a good chance to defeat the CWRA (S787) and prevents your Congressman from signing on as a co-sponsor.
-----Additional Action Items:
-----1. Go to www.landrights.org to see the Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
-----2. Go to www.landrights.org to check which of your Senators or Congressman is on the Committees listed above. You have a lot more power if you find your Congressman or Senator is on the list of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House or the Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate.
-----3. Write, call, fax and e-mail both your Senators even if they are not listed on the Environment and Public Works Committee. You may call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the staff person who handles the Wetlands, Corps of Engineers or the Environment and Public Works Committee. Request his or her e-mail address or fax number. You can write any Senator at: Honorable _________ , U. S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510. It is better to fax your letter because time may be short.
Be sure to ask when the hearings are scheduled, request to be notified about those hearings, and request to testify if you can.
To send testimony you can use the revised and updated New Clean Water Restoration Act Corps of Engineers, EPA and Wetlands Testimony Questionnaire available in both formatted and text versions at www.landrights.org
-----4. Write, call, fax and e-mail your Congressman in opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act no matter if he or she is on either of the two Committees listed above. What you need to know is written below. You may call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. We’ve made it easy to write testimony by setting up two versions of the Testimony Questionnaire on the website www.landrights.org
-----The first version is a formatted version you can print out, add your comments to, and fax or mail it to your Senators or your Congressman.
-----The second version is an unformatted text version you can put in your word processor, edit to meet your needs and concerns, and then e-mail to your Senators and Congressman. Just go to www.landrights.org and the two versions for the Senate and the two versions for the House will be right on the home page.
When you call your Congressman, ask for the staff person who handles Wetlands, the Corps of Engineers or the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and request his or her e-mail address. You can write any Congressman at: Honorable _________ , US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.
Ask to be notified about coming hearings and if possible, ask that you be allowed to testify.
-----5. Be sure to tape a printed copy of this e-mail to your refrigerator door so you can refer to it in the future. This is going to be a huge battle and will take time and action by you to save your water and land.
Finding the Testimony Questionnaires is easy. They are right on the home page at www.landrights.org The formatted version can be printed out and mailed or faxed to your Senators and Congressman with any added comments you wish to make. The text version you can put in your word processor and edit any way you like. Then e-mail it to your Senators and Congressman.
You can also use the Testimony Questionnaires to give you ideas to write a personal letter. Keep it to one page. Because of time limitations, be sure to fax it to your Congressman and both Senators.
-----Rep. James Oberstar and Senators Feingold, Baucus, Voinovich Klobuchar are leading the fight to overturn two Supreme Court cases that ruled that the Corps of Engineers and EPA did not have jurisdiction over waters that were not “navigable”. Klobuchar is basically just doing the bidding of Rep. James Oberstar.
Oberstar, Feingold, Baucus, Voinovich and Klobuchar will try to gut the meaning of the word “Navigable.” They are doing this to make it possible for Democrats on their Committees to vote for the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) without getting hammered by you.
Your Congressman and both Senators must hear from you that you are not falling for this trick. They must learn from you that they will be held responsible if they vote for the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA).
----- Maps showing existing Clean Water Act affected areas compared to the areas affected if the CWRA (Clean Water Restoration Act) if the CWRA were to pass Congress are right on our homepage at www.landrights.org
If you see the number HR 2421, that is last year’s number. That’s the old House number Oberstar used last year. You should call your Congressman to request that he or she inform you when the new House version of the Clean Water Restoration Act is introduced in the House and what the new number is. This is very important because it lets him or her know you are interested and following the issue.
Until the House assigns a new number, use CWRA or better yet, the full “Clean Water Restoration Act” name to describe the bill. Of course, in the Senate use S 787.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act is worse than a mere return to the jurisdiction the Corps of Engineers and EPA had before the U.S. Supreme Court limited their jurisdiction. It gives the jurisdiction to the federal government that the environmental bureaucrats only dreamed of before the Supreme Court's rulings.
-----An example is that the Federal bureaucracies will gain control over all the watersheds in the United States. That includes dry land inside or adjacent to watersheds. That means everything. Because all land is in a watershed.
-----And in fact the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787) even goes far beyond that by adding the language, “the activities affecting these waters,” which is essentially a limitless national land use control provision.
-----Chairman Rep. Oberstar and Senators Feingold, Baucus and Alexander Klobuchar, Voinovich and other Members of Congress are trying to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decisions using the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) to define those decisions away. The Supreme Court said the Corps and EPA only have jurisdiction over “Navigable Waters.”
-----Oberstar, Feingold, Baucus and Alexander want to give the Corps and EPA jurisdiction over “all water” and “all activities affecting those waters.”
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act restores the jurisdiction of the Corps and EPA over all the lands they had taken jurisdiction over before the two critical Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act is the biggest threat to private property since CARA and actually affects far more land and people. It seeks to overturn the critical Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001 that said the Corps of Engineers was going outside their jurisdiction.
Alert ….. Alert ….. Alert
Democrats and Oberstar staff lay out their plan to use Clean Water Act and Corps Jurisdiction to create national land use controls.
Read it in their own words.
Oberstar staff White Paper published on our Website, www.landrights.org
ALRA has published an Executive Summary and Analysis of the Oberstar Staff White Paper written by our associate Don Parmeter of the National Water Conservation Alliance. You’ll see in their own words what the Democrats plan is to control your land. Go to www.landrights.org
------In the White Paper on the Clean Water Act you’ll see how Rep. James Oberstar, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee want to give the power and jurisdiction to the Corps of Engineers and EPA to control all the watersheds in the United States. All land is in a watershed.
-----It is critical that you forward this message as widely as possible and hand out copies. Send it to your friends, neighbors and business associates no matter where they live. The Clean Water Restoration Act affects all waters across the whole U.S.
-----It became clear what Oberstar is really up to at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing on Oberstar’s Clean Water Act Wetlands Land Grab Bill, the Clean Water Restoration Act at a hearing last year.
-----Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) made it clear at the hearing that he plans to overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----That would give the Corps of Engineers and EPA jurisdiction over nearly all private and Federal land. The Supreme Court limited that jurisdiction in the two Supreme Court decisions. Look at the two maps for comparison of how the Clean Water Restoration Act affects the country at www.landrights.org
Even if you sent in testimony last year, you should do it again. This is a new Congress and a new bill. You should also call, fax and e-mail both your Senators, your Congressman and any other Congressman from your state plus all the Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. You should also call Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
-----Call, Call, Call. Fax, fax, fax. The Senate and House must be overwhelmed with testimony and phone calls. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121.
Some Democrats have real concerns about the affect of the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) on their constituents. They are worried about whether you will realize that the CWRA really hurts you in a big way and that their vote will be held against them in the election next year. Your actions can help get both Democrats and Republicans to oppose the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787).
-----You must make it clear to them that you know the Clean Water Restoration Act will overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
That means the CWRA (S787) will vastly expand the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers and the EPA.
It is critical that you take action with both your Senators and your Congressman and any other Congressman from your state. Please fill out and e-mail or fax or e-mail your Testimony Questionnaire to both your Senators and your Congressman. You can find specially written versions for both the Senate and the House at www.landrights.org You are free to change them any way you want.
Also call both your Senators and your Congressman to make sure they know you oppose the Clean Water Restoration Act and any attempt to overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
If you sent testimony to your Senators or Congressman last year, it does not count now. You must do it again because it is a new Congress and the Testimony Questionnaire at www.landrights.org is different than what you sent before.
-----Call at least five friends, forward this message to them, and get them to submit testimony.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act has very little to do with clean water or restoration. It is mostly about land use control and expanding the power, reach and jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers and EPA over their definition of “wetlands” under the Clean Water Act of 1972.
-----What the bill supporters are doing is using the term “Clean Water,” which everybody wants, as a tool to pass legislation (CWRA) that is really about land use control and has little or nothing to do with clean water. It is a huge rural land grab but it affects urban areas too. Their target is land use control over all lands, both urban and rural.
-----What the Clean Water Restoration Act does is give the Corps of Engineers and EPA control over all private property in the US by changing the definition of “wetlands” under the Clean Water Act of 1972 expanding the regulatory reach of the Corps and EPA over private property.
-----You must prevail on both your Senators and your Congressman not to let that happen.
Go to www.landrights.org to print out a formatted Testimony Questionnaire to mail or fax to both your Senators and your Congressman. Or download a text version you can edit in your word processing program and then e-mail to your Congressman and both Senators.
Send a copy of your testimony to American Land Rights and we will hand deliver it to your Senators and Congressman. Fax it to (360) 687-2973 to e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can borrow information from the Testimony Questionnaire to simply write a letter. Try to keep your letter to one page. Fax the letter if you can. Mail is too slow for this vote.
Follow up with a phone call.
-----Urgent Action Required
You must take urgent action to help stop the CWRA (Clean Water Restoration Act). This bill will have a huge impact on business, agriculture, small communities, rural America, farming, ranching and all private lands. It will overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001. No one who owns private land is safe.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
American Land Rights Association
See the Land Rights Network reprint below of InsideEPA article that talks about the NRA inside backroom deal. See who is selling you out. Senators Baucus, Alexander, Voinovich and Klobuchar are also involved in a backroom deals in order to pass S 787 out of Committee.
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Daily News from InsideEPA.com - Wednesday, June 03, 2009
To Win Farm Support For CWA Bill, Baucus Exempts Chemical Spraying
In an apparent bid to win support from agriculture groups for legislation clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is offering to exempt pesticide spraying activities from water act permit requirements imposed by a controversial recent appellate ruling.
Baucus has also proposed to exempt hunting and shooting activities from the water law to address National Rifle Association (NRA) concerns that recent court rulings have defined bullets as a “point source” if they are discharged into waters.
But the pesticide exemption is facing opposition from environmentalists and has not yet won support from other Democrats on the Senate environment committee. “Serious discussions are ongoing, but no final resolution has been made,” a source close to the situation says.
It is also not clear whether the Obama administration will back Baucus’ proposal. The Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of EPA, in a May 27 brief reiterated its call for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to stay for two years its January ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA requiring permits for spraying activities, a move intended to give the agency time to craft a permit program.
And in a June 3 brief DOJ urged the 6th Circuit to deny an industry request for an en banc rehearing, saying “EPA believes it can conform its conduct to comply with the panel’s decision.”
Baucus’ proposal, an amendment to a Democratic bill seeking to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act, S. 787, would add pesticide application to a list of activities exempt from the discharge standards in section 402 of the water law, if applied in accordance with federal pesticide regulations.
Baucus’ office is floating the amendment in hopes of winning support to include it in the bill, introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). It is the latest proposal Baucus has floated to amend the Feingold bill.
Last month he floated a substitute to the Feingold bill that hewed closely to a proposal from states that codified EPA’s regulatory definition of jurisdictional waters, making most waters subject to federal oversight, not just “navigable waters” as is the case under current law.
Environmentalists insist on dropping jurisdiction based on navigability as a way to overcome current and possible future Supreme Court limitations on jurisdiction, but industry officials insist on maintaining it.
The Baucus plan also codified regulatory exemptions for prior converted croplands and waste treatment systems that environmentalists have long opposed codifying.
His latest proposal retains those two exemptions while also adding new exemptions for shooting activities and pesticide spraying. If the chemicals are applied “in accordance with the instructions on the label” under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act, the spraying “shall be considered to have met all requirements for a permit under this section,” the new amendment says.
The new exemption is a response to the Cotton Council ruling, which says pesticide spraying on or near waters constitutes a “point source,” requiring a water act permit. Industry officials say that the ruling has far reaching implications for pesticide applications and other activities previously considered as nonpoint source activities that until now have been exempted from permit requirements under the CWA.
EPA in its recent briefs says that the agency may have to issue as many as 365,000 new permits because of the ruling.
The case played a key role in the agriculture industry’s opposition to Feingold’s bill, which they say could expand the reach of the CWA to more waters than were originally regulated under the water act before two Supreme Court rulings.
Feingold’s bill seeks to clarify the CWA in the wake of two cases -- Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos, et ux., et al. v. United States -- which critics say have narrowed the law’s jurisdiction over isolated wetlands, intermittent streams and other marginal waters. In SWANCC, the court limited the basis for asserting jurisdiction over solely intrastate waters, while in Rapanos, the court provided two competing tests for determining jurisdiction.
Baucus and other moderates have been seeking to pick up support from some in the agriculture community for Feingold’s bill, according to industry sources. The latest offer could boost prospects for the bill’s passage. For instance, one source says the wheat sector may endorse the Baucus amendment.
But despite Baucus’ latest effort, most industry groups, including many agricultural organizations, continue to take a hard line against the legislation because it would remove “navigable” from its definition of “waters,” which industry critics say would broaden the reach of the CWA far beyond the law’s original reach.
Sources following the negotiations say the changes Baucus made to the bill are also in part intended to appease concerns from the NRA stemming from several federal court decisions defining bullets as a “point source” if they are discharged into waters. An NRA source says the organization has voiced its concerns to Senate environment committee members that the bill could drastically expand permitting requirements.
“The [EPA] administrator shall neither require a permit under this section, nor directly or indirectly require any state to require a permit, for any discharge from a firearm during hunting or competitive or recreational shooting,” the amendment says, adding the language to section 402(l) of the CWA, which includes other exemptions for agriculture, oil and gas related stormwater runoff. The amendment also includes exemptions for hunting and recreational shooting under sections 404 and 502 of the CWA.
Baucus’ bid may also underscore a desire by moderates on the environment committee to obtain additional political cover in order to support Feingold’s bill, even after the Obama Administration recently issued statement of principles calling on Congress to “broadly protect” waters under the CWA.
Environmentalists and others said the Obama administration’s recent release of principles calling for legislation to expand the reach of the water act could provide cover for moderates like Baucus and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
While the principles stop short of endorsing a particular bill, they go some way towards heeding environmentalists’ calls for the incoming Obama administration to endorse S. 787. The principles also echo recent statements from Jackson who called for a legislative fix to expand the law’s scope.
The statement does, however, endorse calls by states and industry groups to preserve existing regulatory exemptions, such as those for prior converted croplands.
Republicans and industry groups continue to call for further hearings on legislation to define the scope of the CWA, arguing that new members of the environment committee deserve more information on the bill. Both industry groups and EPA held briefings for Senate staff on the issue this week. -- Jonathan Strong
End of InsideEPA article
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Please forward this message as widely as possible. This is a historic issue.
It is incredibly important for you to forward this message. By forwarding the message, you can help get millions of copies of this critically important e-mail distributed. Thank you in advance for your help.
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This is a forward of an e-mail sent by RJ Smith of the Center For Private Conservation on Friday, June 12th. Even though it makes this message even longer, it is very much worth your time to read. You can reach RJ at email@example.com.
I received an email at 11:05 p.m. last night from E&PW staff that Sen. Barbara Boxer and company are going to bring the Clean Water Restoration Act up for full committee mark-up and vote in their Thursday 18 June business session scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the EPW Hearing Room, 406 Dirksen.
This is Sen Russ Feingold's S.787 which was introduced on April 2.
With the Democrats having nationalized the financial, banking and automobile industries -- bringing a strong layer of socialism to the key portions of the US economy, they are now moving to nationalize the American land and water.
Under the Clean Water Act the Federal government only had the authority to regulate "navigable waters" and control the discharge of pollutants and dredge and fill activities within those navigable waters.
The so-called Clean Water RESTORATION Act restores nothing. That is a hoax. Instead it removes the restrictive and limiting terms "navigable" waters and unconstitutionally extends the Federal regulatory authority over ALL waters of the United States. This includes the driest desert areas that may only hold water for a few weeks a year during summer monsoon rains. And it includes completely isolated prairie potholes (small ponds and marshes) with no connection whatsoever to any other waters.
Furthermore, the bill will now prohibit ALL activities affecting all waters of the United States. This means that anything a landowner, a business, a county roads department, a waterfowl conservation program undertakes that could conceivably affect anything that is wet -- will be subject to the discretionary jurisdiction of Army Corps or EPA bureaucrats. They will then be able to make the lives of family farmers, ranchers, tree farmers, homebuilders -- almost anyone and everyone -- literally impossible. They will have the total power to force every farmer or rancher or ordinary business owner to run a gauntlet of permits, red tape, delays -- that will delay projects long enough and cost so much as to essentially shut down or bankrupt even the most necessary and innocuous projects.
There are copious examples of wetlands horror stories over the last 20 years where people have been imprisoned and fined staggering amounts for simply building their own home, cleaning up dumps, or creating habitat for waterfowl. And that occurred under the CWA restrictions of "navigable waters" and prohibitions only on discharging pollutants and dredge and fill activities.
Once those constraints are removed by the CWRA, life will quickly become a bureaucratic nightmare with no exit -- particularly so throughout all of rural America. This bill would be much more honestly named The Rural Cleansing Act of 2009.
This will be a tough battle given that the E&PW Committee make up is 12 Ds and 7 Rs (which includes Senators George Voinovich and Lamar Alexander.)
It is especially important to enlist the help of the agricultural community, especially county and state farm bureaus. Request that they notify not only the members of the Senate E&PW but also the Senate Agriculture Committee.
It is also vital to contact Rep. Collin Peterson Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and request that he ask for oversight hearings on the impact of the CWRA on America's farmers and the nation's food production.
You should also request that the farmers and ranchers you know and your county and state farm bureaus and cattlemen's associations contact the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association asking them to strongly oppose the CWRA.