Hultgen Slams EPA over Water Regs

A press release from Congressman Randy Hultgren:

Hultgren Slams Final EPA Waters of the U.S. Rule

Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today criticized a final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers which extends jurisdiction over the waters of the United States to

  • ditches
  • wetlands
  • streams
  • flood plains and
  • even ornamental landscape features

Rep. Hultgen has cosponsored H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which stops federal agencies like EPA from improperly using the Clean Water Act (CWA) to expand jurisdiction over land that is currently under the control of

  • states and farmers
  • construction businesses and
  • other private owners

On May 12, Rep. Hultgren supported House passage of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732), which requires the EPA to withdraw the rule.

Randy Hultgren

Randy Hultgren

“As expected, EPA’s final rule takes control over even the smallest ditches and puddles, endangering the property rights of everyone from farmers to construction businesses. Ignoring public comments strongly against the rule, EPA has once again seen fit to run roughshod over the rights of Americans,” said Rep. Hultgren.

“As we found out a Science Committee hearing, this ‘clarifying’ rule relies on murky science at best.

“We should be supporting and promoting the work of our farmers and businesses, not allowing the dangerously powerful EPA to expand its power.

“The administration has failed to develop strategies to improve our environment through sound scientific data.

“Clearly we need action by the full Congress to demonstrate to the administration the need to provide stability and confidence to Americans.”

EPA’s connectivity report, which claimed that all bodies of water, no matter the size, are connected [emphasis added] “is in direct contradiction of the Supreme Court decision which clearly upholds the policy that isolated wetlands could not be considered ‘waters of the United States’ for purposes under the CWA,” reads a letter Rep. Hultgren sent to House leadership requesting they stop any funding for proposed change in definition.

This move opens up farms and other private property to EPA regulation and intrusion, such as farm ponds, storm drains, and other non-navigable water bodies.

“These regulatory changes will have wide ranging effects on everything from construction to agriculture,” the letter says.

During a previous Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing, Rep. Hultgren took EPA’s Deputy Administrator to task hearing for his wavering and opaque explanation of the Clean Water Rule and how it will affect Illinois 14th District constituents. The rule is meant to clarify jurisdiction but lacks any scientific justification, and the Deputy Administrator’s answer only further confused the issue.


Hultgen Slams EPA over Water Regs — 9 Comments

  1. It appear to me that Mr Hultgren does not know that EPA also are in charge of other water run-offs like shopping mall parking lots etc. .

    Many of these EPA reviews is like a three year old doing science, but run-offs from fertilized fields as well as from highways and roads is something some agency should review and maybe regulate.

    We can find that since using molasses blends with salts on the roads water wells tests has shown reducing chlorate numbers.

  2. This could be a pretty big deal, depending on what exactly the EPA plans to do.

    Being a government agency, the EPA could up with various rules and regulations, policies and procedures regarding soil erosion and sediment control, water quality, flood control, etc.

    When Illinois was settled, a lot of the state was marshy.

    Farmers drained the water via drainage tile and other techniques into drainage ditches to create fields.

    They often formed drainage districts as part of that process.

    There are about 850 drainage districts throughout the state, typically small districts in a township operated by farmers.

    Haven’t heard of a good reason to consolidate them, they seem to be doing fine as is.

    No pensions in a drainage district.

    McHenry County only has two drainage districts, the Greenwood Drainage District and the Hebron Drainage District.

    Hultgren’s district is largely rural.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers has several locations across Illinois:
    – Chicago District which covers McHenry County.
    – Rock Island District
    – Champaign
    – St. Louis

    There is a US EPA and an Illinois EPA (IEPA) and they are different entities.

    Illinois is in US EPA region 5 which is headquartered in Chicago.

    IEPA is a state agency with locations in Naperville, Champaign, Peoria, and Springfield.

    You would think they would be more worried about the Asian Carp than drainage ditches.

    Farms are consolidating which brings higher concentrations of animal waste, maybe that’s part of their concern, no clue.

  3. Here’s the 9 page “new definition” of “Waters of the United States.”

    And the 423 page “Technical Support Document for the Clean Water Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States.”

    Supposedly agricultural drainage ditches are not meant to be covered, but no doubt that depends where the agricultural drainage ditch drains and whatever else is buried in those 423 pages that may or may not apply to drainage ditches.

    A quick search in the document revealed only 5 hits.

    But if someone at the EPA wants to make your life difficult it seems 423 pages allows them more than a little leeway to walk the grey line.

  4. Anarchy, when executed as planned, typically leads to Tyranny.

    When the Anarchists have completed their phase of the project they, being termed “Useful Idiots,” are summarily terminated and the other “ists” can take over and complete the project – whether they are Communists, Marxists, Socialists, Fascists, or whatever.

    God Help America!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *