Obama’s New Executive Order Could Affect YOUR Property
BY KEITH FARRELL -
A new executive order from President Obama could affect property owners. The order institutes new EPA rules, expanding the authority of that agency under the Clean Water Act.
But critics say the new rule violates Supreme Court rulings and will burden property owners.
The proposed rule would allow the federal government to regulate tributaries and ditches that collect water. Many are concerned this could lead to unreasonable regulation of private property and impede farming.
The Supreme Court has ruled against the federal government’s attempts to expand the Clean Water Act twice. In the 2001 case of Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers, and again in the 2006 case of Rapanos v. United States.
“Property owners will not be able to engage in activities they should be able to engage in,” said Daren Bakst, a research fellow in agriculture policy at the Heritage Foundation.
“This will be devastating to private property rights. It’s an attack on private property rights. Most people don’t have the money to pay for all these permits” he added.
The EPA responded with a blog post, which carefully retreats from its earlier position of regulating ditches and parses it language over tributaries.
“We’ve heard feedback that our proposed definition of tributaries was confusing and ambiguous, and could be interpreted to pick up erosion in a farmer’s field, when that’s not our aim. So we looked at ways to refine that definition, be precise about the streams we’re talking about, and make sure there are bright lines around exactly what we mean.”
“We’re limiting protection to ditches that function like tributaries and can carry pollution downstream—like those constructed out of streams. Our proposal talked about upland ditches, and we got feedback that the word “upland” was confusing, so we’ll approach ditches from another angle.”
Regardless of the precise language these new rules contain, something is very troubling with this system.
The federal bureaucracy and the president are able to just institute rules which have not been approved by Congress and that may violate Supreme Court rulings.
These rule changes could affect the way millions of Americans live and work.
Why are un-elected officials and the president, who has no authority to make law, able to make such changes?