Share This Page

More EPA overreach: Leash the mongrel

| 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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.