Many of you have probably heard of the EPA’s push for a new rule titled “Waters of the U.S.” which would expand the agency’s powers of regulation over even very small bodies of water in America including creeks and ditches.
Some lawmakers, including North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, oppose this rule feeling that it’s far too broad in scope. According to new maps, developed in secret by the EPA to catalog the waters they’d like regulatory authority over, a “Waters of the U.S.” rule would result in the EPA having regulatory authority over pretty much the entire state.
The maps were released to Congress when the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (of which Rep. Cramer is a member) investigated the matter, and Cramer’s office has released them to the public.
The map for North Dakota shows just how broad the scope of this law could be (high-res version here).
Lakes are in dark blue. Streams and rivers are in light blue. Intermittent bodies of water are in yellow. Obviously, all that yellow is a concern.
Even more troubling is a second map for the EPA’s 8th region, which includes North Dakota. It depicts the “water inventory” for each state. As you can see, pretty much the entire state of North Dakota is colored in blue.
If that’s indicative of what the EPA plans to regulate in North Dakota, it’s hard to imagine what can be done in the state – from construction to energy development to agriculture – without going through the EPA.
Which, no doubt, is the point.
The EPA is denying that the maps have anything to do with the proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule change, but Cramer and other members of Congress aren’t buying it.
“It is certainly alarming the EPA would develop these maps in secret and only release them after being confronted by members of Congress,” Rep. Cramer said of the maps in a press release. “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. 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.”
Is Cramer guilty of alarmism? Can we trust the EPA when they tell us that they aren’t planning a power grab?
The problem with that last question is the words “trust the EPA.” That agency has proven that it deserves the public trust.