U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has released a report that outlines the gross overreach of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers in enforcing the Clean Water Act. The report describes how these groups have expanded the interpretation of their authority to regulate ‘waters of the U.S.’
“The case studies presented in the report reflect the serious concerns we have raised for more than two years now: the new ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule takes the EPA’s and Corps’ longstanding regulatory overreach and gives it a new name,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The agencies have persistently and unlawfully stretched the limited authority Congress gave them, even to the point of regulating ordinary plowing, a normal farming activity exempted by Congress. They have even claimed authority to regulate tire ruts and puddles found on the farm.”
The report contains specific examples of the misuse of authority, tellings the stories of growers ordered to abandon fields and fruit trees. One example states a man was told to preserve tire ruts in a wetland caused by his own vehicle.
This report follows the actions of 11 senators who wrote to the EPA and the Corps last year stating they would be watching the implementation of laws. The senators clearly explained that if the agencies did not offer clarity or overstepped traditional exemptions they would not be able to vote in favor of the WOTUS rule.
“It’s as clear to us now as it has ever been: It’s time for the Senate to Ditch the Rule,” states Duvall. “The Senate should once again take up S. 1140 at its earliest opportunity.”