- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
EDITORIAL: EPA regulates water
Life-giving substances shouldn’t be treated as pollutants
Question of the Day
The environmentalist movement has gone off the deep end. It’s bad enough that the courts have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare carbon dioxide, one of the essential components of life on this planet, to be a pollutant. Now the same bureaucratic zealots are going after water itself.
On Friday, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II appeared in federal district court in Alexandria to contest the EPA’s use of the Clean Water Act to punish Virginia and Fairfax County for sending too much water into a watershed. “These regulations are expensive, cumbersome and incredibly difficult to implement,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “And if we can’t stop this from happening in Fairfax County, it’s bound to happen across the state over and over again and at a huge price tag to the taxpayers of the commonwealth.”
The EPA’s latest action is a classic example of how Washington agencies constantly expand their purpose. Congress first adopts legislation bearing a title nobody could reasonably oppose — who’s against clean water? Over time, the courts and bureaucrats systematically extend the meaning of formerly innocuous definitions. Now instead of keeping lead out of drinking water, the agency is keeping water out of creeks.
Specifically, the agency has established a set of limits for the amount of water that can flow into Accotink Creek, which runs through Fairfax County and drains into the Potomac. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the county are on the hook for storm water that falls from the sky onto county and city roads. This water then flows into storm drains that empty into the creek. EPA hypothesizes that heavy water flows stir up “sediment,” which does fall under the Clean Water Act’s definitions. Instead of going after sediment levels directly, however, EPA has declared it can go ahead and directly target water-flow levels, which Mr. Cuccinelli says goes too far in pushing the jurisdictional envelope.
According to documents filed with the court, complying with the EPA’s bizarre rule would cost state and local governments $320 million. Mr. Cuccinelli told the court this could result in the loss of homes, as “efforts to achieve such a reduction in storm-water flow as demanded by EPA would require significant public takings of private property in order to build numerous new storm-water management structures.”
Even if VDOT and Fairfax County jump through the federal hoops, there’s no guarantee that the insects, birds and algae in Accotink Creek will see any improvement in the quality of their life. The real control of the amount of water that flows into the creek is in the hands of Mother Nature, not Uncle Sam. That’s why the court should step in and shut down the EPA’s latest power grab.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trump-Carson a 2016 dream ticket
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama fundraises as the world burns
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No U.S. support for Christian peril
- EDITORIAL: Gun-shy Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Get Breaking Alerts
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'