Farmers, industry getting pretty nervous about the EPA’s incoming water regs

posted at 1:21 pm on March 12, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

The Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama hasn’t exactly developed a reputation for even-handedness or self-restraint. Those zealous bureaucrats have regularly employed their full arsenal of administrative techniques — ranging anywhere from the obscurest under-the-radar rulemaking to aggressive regulatory overhauls — to widen the scope of their already invasive authority, and the EPA is not the least bit shy about spending taxpayer resources to get hyper-combative about it.

One particular source of several such showdowns with private citizens and businesses who have dared to challenge their power grabs has been the Clean Water Act. It was originally designed to grant the EPA regulatory authority over bodies of water with a “significant nexus” to the “navigable waters” of the United States — which was at first generally understood to mean waters that functioned in major commercial purposes, but over time, the EPA has been steadily pushing the parameters of that vague definition. There have already been several major Supreme-Court level lawsuits on the issue in recent years, and last fall, the EPA announced that they intended to write more explicit rules to hammer out their precise aquatic jurisdiction.

Given the Obama EPA’s utter lack of regulatory restraint I already mentioned, that has a lot of people very nervous. Via the NYT:

Mr. Lemeke is a former Iowa state government official who supervised water quality programs. He is also a fifth-generation farmer who grows corn and soybeans on his acreage, about 75 miles north of Des Moines, and he has never worried that the government would be concerned about that small ditch.

But that may soon change.

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue regulations that farmers like Mr. Lemeke say may require them to get permits for work for which they have long been exempt. The E.P.A. says the new rules are needed to clarify which bodies of water it must oversee under the federal Clean Water Act, an issue of jurisdiction that the agency says has been muddled by recent court rulings. …

There is no timetable for when the rules will be released. But if the agency expands its jurisdiction over streams like the one on Mr. Lemeke’s farm, he and other farmers say, the move could prove costly by requiring farmers to pay fees for environmental assessments and to get permits just to till the soil near gullies, ditches or dry streambeds where water only flows when it rains. …

In a letter last month to the White House and members of Congress, the coalition said the agency’s decision to move forward on the new rules failed to comply with regulatory requirements and relied on a flawed economic analysis concerning its effect on industry. The groups also said the scientific report the agency and the Corp of Engineers relied on to justify the new rules had not been reviewed by other scientists.

The EPA, relying on economic reports that understate the costs of their regulations and scientific reports that shun outside review? Well, I never!


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…just piss on the crops…that’s what they want!

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Lubbock County is in what is shaping up to be a drought zone…again…and has a lot of farmers.
Not good.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2014 at 1:27 PM

A customer of mine, small plastics/chemicals manufacturer with HQ in New England, has developed a plasticizer made 100% from renewables. It has passed ALL testing with flying colors. It is price and performance competitive with better known plasticizers such as PVC. The application has been sitting on some moron’s desk for 5 years now. The EPA under every previous president would have approved it at the end of the minimum time frame of 90 days.

You think the EPA really cares about the environment and getting rid of hydrocarbons? They only want to control you entire life, that’s all.

Kermit on March 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

I don’t need no stinkin water. Ever see what it does to pipes?

timberline on March 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Well considering Iowa went Obama I guess I do have to be upset what Obama’s EPA is doing to them. Boo-Hoo, and I’m done.

Marcus on March 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

That’s ok because we won’t need farmers anymore if people would just stop wasting their money on food and instead put it all into their 0bumblescare premiums.

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Lubbock County is in what is shaping up to be a drought zone…again…and has a lot of farmers.
Not good.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 12, 2014 at 1:27 PM

No farming, no food.
It is intentional.
Eliminate the family farms.
Eliminate food resource independence, as much as our government is preventing us from energy independence as much as possible.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

When are states and people going to start just saying no to this lawless agency?

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

When are states and people going to start just saying no to this lawless agency?

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Heh, if you say no to the EPA, you are saying no to Bammy. That’d be racist! Unpatriotic disrspect too, I might add.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Have you noticed how much food prices have gone up in recent years? Get ready for more increases.

bitsy on March 12, 2014 at 1:48 PM

People thought they were special. They mistook themselves for the elite, protected class. Now they’re learning they were dupes. Useful voters.

Someone voted for this guy and his minions. And it wasn’t just in the past 8 years, it’s been for decades. Sorry about your businesses and farms. If they were important to you, maybe you should have voted more carefully.

vityas on March 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

ABOLISH THE EPA !

Also the IRS, BATF, USPS, . . . (this list could go on forever)

listens2glenn on March 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

EPA, another federal agency that has outlived it’s usefulness.

GarandFan on March 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Have you noticed how much food prices have gone up in recent years? Get ready for more increases.

bitsy on March 12, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I’m ready. Be prepared for shortages, eventually, too, I think.

Maybe the Mormons have it right……keep a years supply of food on hand, out of necessity. Along with your your other necessities, such as ammo. Its gonna be rough next couple of years.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

EPA, another federal agency that has outlived it’s usefulness.

GarandFan on March 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Yup. So many agencies. So useless.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Who needs food when you could be listening to some Obama speeches?

You stupid, ungrateful ‘wingers’.

Sheesh.

trigon on March 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM

The federal will mafia never sleep until our economy sleeps with the fishes.

earlgrey on March 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

I’m ready. Be prepared for shortages, eventually, too, I think.

Maybe the Mormons have it right……keep a years supply of food on hand, out of necessity. Along with your your other necessities, such as ammo. Its gonna be rough next couple of years.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Shortages are definitely coming, though the big cause is (right now) inflation and the inevitable, Venezuela-style price controls that are coming.

Doomberg on March 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Who needs food when you could be listening to some Obama speeches?

Ambrosia! (snark)

djl130 on March 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Following in the footsteps of the I.R.S. … If it moves (flows) TAX/Regulate it)….

Coming soon… if you like your current water… you can pay MORE federal taxes on it.

Oh… you don’t support g*y lifestyles… don’t support abor*ion rights? No utility service for you… flagged for non-conforming thoughts/ideas…

First – health care.
Second – your retirement/all bank accounts
Third – food supplies/water.

Total domination complete – elites have full control. Dream utopian society coming right up!….

glidingone on March 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Total domination complete – elites have full control. Dream utopian society coming right up!….

glidingone on March 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM

But but but… A Marxist Utopia is a good thing… right? right?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Coming soon, Obamafood

Viator on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The EPA, relying on economic reports that understate the costs of their regulations and scientific reports that shun outside review? Well, I never!

Pretty soon, they’ll be taxing us on our oxygen consumption.

I swear, we are living Total Recall.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Pretty soon, they’ll be taxing us on our oxygen consumption.

I swear, we are living Total Recall.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Silly Bob… The EPA already declared carbon-dioxide a pollutant, that means they are already taxing you for breathing.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

It was originally designed to grant the EPA regulatory authority over bodies of water with a “significant nexus” to the “navigable waters” of the United States

If you can’t float a barge on it, it’s not “navigable” and the EPA should go away.

If I can hop across it without getting my feet wet, we never should have had this discussion in the first place.

gekkobear on March 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

People thought they were special. They mistook themselves for the elite, protected class. Now they’re learning they were dupes. Useful voters.

Someone voted for this guy and his minions. And it wasn’t just in the past 8 years, it’s been for decades. Sorry about your businesses and farms. If they were important to you, maybe you should have voted more carefully.

vityas on March 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Eff off. Us blood red states like KS and OK have to live with this too.

cptacek on March 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Coming soon, Obamafood

Viator on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Will Obamafood be people?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Pretty soon, they’ll be taxing us on our oxygen consumption.

You can be sure, if there is a way it can be done, it will be, if carbon emissions can be taxed. Just give it time.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Coming soon, Obamafood

Viator on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Will Obamafood be people?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Ah, the “unexpected” result of ACA Death Panels.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Total domination complete – elites have full control. Dream utopian society coming right up!….

glidingone on March 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM

But but but… A Marxist Utopia is a good thing… right? right?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Yes Oscarwilde – government union factory (staffed by only minority workers of course) produced cupcakes for having the right ‘mindset’… coming right up!

Interesting how one group’s utopia is another’s h*ll

glidingone on March 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I’m surprised the EPA hasn’t just tried to ban that nasty chemical dihydrogen-monoxide – it just causes so much trouble – and it’s gotten into EVERYTHING!!!

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Will Obamafood be people?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Not REAL people, that matter.
Just those who vote Republican and refuse to give up other things to pay their 0bumblescare premiums.

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Will Obamafood be people?

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Of course. Why else need death panels for Obamacare… to regulate the food supply to productive O’citizens.

dominigan on March 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Pretty soon, they’ll be taxing us on our oxygen consumption.

I swear, we are living Total Recall.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Silly Bob… The EPA already declared carbon-dioxide a pollutant, that means they are already taxing you for breathing.

oscarwilde on March 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

You can be sure, if there is a way it can be done, it will be, if carbon emissions can be taxed. Just give it time.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well, OK, that’s fine. I can handle living Total Recall, as long as there are 3-breasted mutant pr0stitutes.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Lots of people in that bureaucracy that need to look like they are doing something for a pay check.

BL@KBIRD on March 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Heh, if you say no to the EPA, you are saying no to Bammy. That’d be racist! Unpatriotic disrspect too, I might add.

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I guess they would sic the IRS on us.

crankyoldlady on March 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Obama’s plan is to shut down the economy, we have too much but soon we can fight over scraps or have a revolution like Mao. Great plan these leftists have.

tim c on March 12, 2014 at 2:45 PM

we have too much but soon we can fight over scraps or have a revolution like Mao. Great plan these leftists have

Hmmm, we could be fighting over scraps AND have a revolution at the same time. A win-win for leftists.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on March 12, 2014 at 2:52 PM

The EPA under every previous president would have approved it at the end of the minimum time frame of 90 days.

You think the EPA really cares about the environment and getting rid of hydrocarbons? They only want to control you entire life, that’s all.

Kermit on March 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

It is difficult to challenge a decision that is never made. When would a suit be timely? Besides while a bureaucrat may be fired for approving something he should not, saying no is pretty safe and saying nothing at all is even safer.

KW64 on March 12, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Eff off. Us blood red states like KS and OK have to live with this too.

cptacek on March 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I appreciate your suggestion but you’ll understand why I don’t really care about it.
We all have to live with bad voting.
My point, which you might have missed while you were concerned with directing your vulgarity toward me, is that the majority has voted for this for decades.

vityas on March 12, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Pretty soon, they’ll be taxing us on our oxygen consumption.

I swear, we are living Total Recall.

UltimateBob on March 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

they already did.
just by being alive you are taxed with obamacare now.

dmacleo on March 12, 2014 at 3:18 PM

So a ditch is now a navigable body of water?

sadatoni on March 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

So a ditch is now a navigable body of water?

sadatoni on March 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Next up – the dastardly garden hose….

dentarthurdent on March 12, 2014 at 3:38 PM

My point, which you might have missed while you were concerned with directing your vulgarity toward me, is that the majority has voted for this for decades.

vityas on March 12, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I thought you were piling on/agreeing with Marcus, who said this:

Well considering Iowa went Obama I guess I do have to be upset what Obama’s EPA is doing to them. Boo-Hoo, and I’m done.

Marcus on March 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Every time there is a story about farm policy or anything that affects farms, there is some idiot like the above that sees “Iowa”, lumps all the square states together under them, and implies that all farmers always vote for the Dem, so they get what’s coming to them.

I read Marcus’, then yours, and responded to you.

cptacek on March 12, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Sheesh! The more the world changes, the more it remains the same. O’ is just the latest manifestation of the direction this country has been going for the last 150 years. Lincoln’s war decided for all time (seemingly) the total predominance of Federal authority over state sovereignty, despite the many threats of secession(by Northern states, over time) and the courageous reality of such by the Southern states in 1860-61. England, at the end of the Revolution, made peace with the 13 colonies, INDIVIDUALLY, recognizing their individual sovereignty. Although the Federal government at the outset of the War Between the States declared state sovereignty as an anachronism and, therefore, secession as ‘Unconstitutional’, after the destruction and subjugation of the South (Confederacy), following and during 10 years of ‘Reconstruction’, enforced by Federal troops, the Feds returned the Southern states to the ‘Union’ as individual entities, not en masse, thereby (at least, tacitly) recognizing the sovereignty of the individual states. My point is that when each state views an unconstitutional grab of power by the Feds, it (they) have a Constitutional right, yea, obligation to push back, and to the point of nullification. Deo Vindice.

vnvet on March 12, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I despise this administration.

locomotivebreath1901 on March 12, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Soon they will want to tax rainwater. Oh, they already did.

Tinker on March 12, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Look this mass starvation won’t be anything like mass starvations in history.

Murphy9 on March 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Looks like a great time for state nullification of rules deemed by the State government to violate the Constitution. And common sense.

Or, we can just let the nation drive itself into a famine. Bet I know which one DC would sooner support (after all, they’re just Flyover People: hardly worth anyone’s attention, Comrades).

orangemtl on March 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

We dont need food any more if we just all become breathairians. /s

Imrahil on March 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Who needs food?? We have Obama!

Lot’s of food grown in California

And California uses its water to keep the medians green in Los Angeles. Sacramento and around public buildings!

They need it more than the farmers!

Obamatrix on March 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

If the Department of Agriculture actually addressed agricultural issues instead of just handing out food stamps and crop subsidies, the EPA would not be allowed to interfere with farmers.

But this is the same EPA that, just a couple years ago, wanted to do something about all the dust being kicked up into the atmosphere from people driving on gravel roads. I never actually heard whether they came up with any solutions.

J Baustian on March 14, 2014 at 3:22 AM