Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center. He is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.
Here in America our government is attempting to take greater and greater control over many aspects of life such as health care, education and the environment. In this last case, it’s often done under the guise of environmentalism. Is increased regulation by our government in the area of the environment really about environmental protection or is there something else going on here?
For example, the Clean Water Act is proving to be a tool of regulation in New Mexico where the government has moved in to assert claims for damages to groundwater.
The EPA is denying a Clean Water Act permit in Bristol Bay, Alaska, for the Pebble Mine Project, a project that is thought to have the largest copper and gold mines and could employ over 1,000 people for 30 years. Why the permit denial by the EPA? It’s because they could lose a mere 6.7 square miles of wetlands out of thousands in existence.
A rural Oregon man has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs to collect and use rain water and snow runoff. In Oregon, all water is publicly owned so because he collected this water, he had to have permits from the state. He actually had them but they were retracted.
You can’t tax a church but Tom says he is hearing about churches being charged a “fee” for rainwater runoff.
An individual has a small, manmade open ditch on his property in Indiana. It was in need of repair. So the owner of the property went to the county because he wanted to make some changes in order to responsibly handle the agricultural discharge. He received permission to go ahead with his plans. This saved taxpayer dollars as well as cleaning up the water supply. Federal authorities claimed this was a violation of the Clean Water Act because the ditch was deemed a navigable waterway.
The EPA is flying unmanned, military spy drones over farms in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri to make sure farmers aren’t violating the Clean Water Act.
This is just a small sample of the effects of the Clean Water Act, a piece of legislation that’s being used to enforce a radical agenda, sometimes at the expense of the environment.