Thursday, August 28, 2014

REVEALED: EPA developed secret map to claim oversight of puddles, ponds, and farm runoff

By Rob Port

BISMARCK, N.D. — A map developed by the EPA and released to a U.S. House committee investigating controversial proposed water regulations should have citizens concerned, says U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer.

A farm group in North Dakota is calling the maps a “gall darn can of worms.”

“It is certainly alarming the EPA would develop these maps in secret and only release them after being confronted by members of Congress,” Cramer, a Republican, said in a news release accompanying his office’s release of the maps. “The EPA has been hiding information which could upset the public and jeopardize its massive power grab of unprecedented authority over private and public water.”

The maps were released by the EPA to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, on which Cramer serves. One map shows perennial bodies of water in blue and intermittent bodies of water in yellow. A second regional map including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah uses blue to show each state’s “wetlands inventory.”

On that map, nearly the entire state of North Dakota is in blue.

Critics of the proposed rule have suggested the EPA intends to use it to expand regulation far beyond permanent bodies of water to lands that hold water only some of the time.

“It doesn’t take much of a leap to conclude these highly detailed maps developed with taxpayer funds are for the purpose of enforcing this rule,” Cramer said.

But EPA officials say the maps have nothing to do with the Waters of the U.S. rule.

“Let us be very clear — these maps have nothing to do with EPA’s proposed rule or any other regulatory purpose,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia told Fox News.

In dispute is the Waters of the U.S. rule that would expand the EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to seasonal and temporary bodies of water. The EPA has regulatory authority over “U.S. waters,” but it’s unclear how that authority extends to non-permanent bodies of water.

In New Mexico, one landowner has already experienced the federal government attempting to regulate wetlands that aren’t always wet. In 2013 a New Mexico landowner was prohibited by federal authorities from cleaning out a dry creek bed who cited the Clean Water Act.

Ultimately federal authorities backed down after the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of the property owners, but one group representing agriculture interests in North Dakota is afraid that won’t be the outcome if the EPA gets its way.

“It is a gall darn can of worms opening,” Pete Hannebutt, the director of public policy for the North Dakota Farm Bureau, told “They’ve been trying to reinterpret the rules for years, and we’ve been jumping up and down saying it’s not right.”

Hannebutt said Cramer has it right about the maps from the EPA.

“It could impact everything that we do in generally accepted farming practices, including digging a fence post hole, including running fence, including growing hay. It could have a huge impact on us,” he said.

Hannebutt said the EPA’s regulations could be so broad it could hinder a farmer’s ability to access his land.

“If you see where a farmer has a lane which gives him access to property … if water is pooling in that lane … the EPA is going to say that’s waters of the U.S. and he can’t cross that,” Hannebutt said. “A vigilante EPA officer could say you do not have access to this land.”



Anonymous said...

One of the roots of such wasteful, foolish, thuggish, and tyrannous government is the ease with which it can create almost unlimited amounts of money out of thin air. Near-infinite money buys near-infinite government, and a bureaucracy that is generously funded can entertain an open-ended dream about how to expand its realm.

Every day more people are coming to the judgment that a carefully organized effort to repair the constitution via the States' power to propose and ratify amendments has less risk to our liberty and prosperity than the present trajectory of the federal government and especially the federal bureaucracy.

The first order of business of an Article V Convention must be to limit government's ability to create and spend near-infinite amounts of money.


Anonymous said...

"Let us be very clear — these maps have nothing to do with EPA’s proposed rule or any other regulatory purpose,...”

A business associate bought a house on the edge of a small town. His back yard was cut in two by a drainage that only carried storm runoff. It was near to undercutting his foundation at one point.

He made inquiries about mitigation of the erosion. It turned that ditch was on a old topo map as a dashed blue line and get this: the local Army Corps of Engineers declared he could not "disturb" the "waterway" until a $10,000 engineering study had been done.

So, for any bureaucrat to say pay no attention to any official map we produce, is a lie, because dreadful and expensive enforcement follows such maps as surely as night follows day.

--theBuckWheat said...

Why the @#$% has John Boehner not been run out of town on a rail???

Anonymous said...

They will control all private property and destroy small farms anyway they can. Wells, irrigation ditches, dry washes will be controlled by Washington DC paper pushers. The Army Corps of Engineers as well as the EPA work hand in hand to promote this Agenda 21. There will be NO fracking ultimately.

The MUSEman said...


This has been slowly going on for years, as the government continues to regulate every person, thing, and resource to the point of strangulation (after all, if Uncle Sam owns everything through regulations, then no need to adjudicate future disagreements between the States, as there won't be any!)

At least the lower 48 aren't Alaska, where the Feds control 70% of "their" land:

Thanks for reading!

andy5759 said...

If they can count it or measure it, they can regulate or tax it. That means they want to tax and regulate YOU, and me too, although I'm English we have the same Agenda21 reaching for our land and assets.