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More EPA overreach: Leash the mongrel

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Saturday, April 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Not content with using the Clean Air Act to combat “climate change” (despite a Supreme Court challenge), the Environmental Protection Agency now wants to grossly “clarify” its authority over private property under the Clean Water Act.

What's proposed would allow the EPA to regulate bodies of water that have a “significant nexus” to “traditional navigable water, interstate water or the territorial seas,” The Daily Caller reports. What's a “significant nexus”? That's for the EPA to decide.

This would have a chilling effect on private property rights and even encompass “wetlands” that go dry during certain times of the year. It's “another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country,” says Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency is simply “clarifying protection” for upstream waters. Critics argue that this latest EPA maneuver fails to apply the requisite peer-review science, as required under the agency's statutory obligations.

Or, put another way, “This could be the largest expansion ever of the EPA's authority to regulate private property,” says Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas.

Once again, the Obama administration is allowing politics to trump science — in this case, to fast-track land-grabbing regulations. That deserves more than the requisite “public comment” period. It requires Congress to step up and leash the insatiable mongrel that is today's EPA.

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