Friday, June 19, 2009

EPA has no business regulating puddles on private land

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee approved the Clean Water Restoration Act by a 12 to 7 party-line vote. The new legislation removes the word “navigable” from the definition of water regulated by the Clean Water Act and if passed, would place a major burden on Texas farmers and ranchers.

By removing the word “navigable”, every puddle that appears in a pasture, bar ditch or anywhere else on a ranch or farm could have to be managed. This means our hardworking farmers and ranchers could have to obtain a permit from the EPA in order to continue operations. In the hearing, amendments were offered in an attempt to exempt agricultural operations. Unfortunately, these eight amendments were all defeated. Now the bill will be considered by the entire U.S. Senate, where it will face significant opposition.

These new regulations continue an orchestrated effort to attack and weaken rural America. As rural Texans work tirelessly to provide American and the world with the most abundant, affordable and safest food and fiber supply, we cannot allow them to bear the burden of added costs and regulation. We must continue to maintain the land that several generations have tended to and we must be allowed to do so free of the ever-increasing burdens placed on our backs by the EPA and other federal bureaucracies.

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