Agreed.Can't say that I'm surprised. EPA committed some examples of rediculous over-reach on some farm properties that would have been wiser to avoid. Now we'll see the pendulum swing far enough the other way....
So the miniscule Coastal Cutthroat spawning stream that flows through the woods behind my house is safe?Agreed.
The original clean water act was tacked on to so many times by the EPA, as regulatory bodies are incentivised to do, adding much broader purview beyond its original design. This is just the pendulum swinging back a little. The sky isn't falling, though I think the article is successful in inciting its intended reactions from the public.
Can't say that I'm surprised. EPA committed some examples of rediculous over-reach on some farm properties that would have been wiser to avoid. Now we'll see the pendulum swing far enough the other way cause serious harm to some public waters. Fukwads can't never be reasonable.
This so-called "roll-back" is a disaster. The CWA has always prohibited the addition of pollutants to public waters without a permit, or in violation of the terms of a permit. EPA has, for decades, taken the position that "addition of a pollutant" includes pollutant discharges that travel through the ground for a bit on their way to a traditionally navigable water, and pollutant discharges into nonnavigable waters that have a "significant nexus" to navigable waters. So, for instance, if you have a nasty outdoor scrap metal yard with lots of oil, grease, paint, and auto chemicals and stormwater associated with that industrial activity runs off into the creek behind the yard, that's illegal (without a discharge permit). If you build an earthen berm on the bank of the creek so that the polluted discharge hits the berm and goes through and under it into the the creek, that's still illegal because you are still adding pollutants to the creek. This rollback is an attempt to make that berm situation legal. Unless this effort is struck down in court, every polluting industry will just run their effluent pipe most of the way to the water, instead of all the way to the water. This is a huge issue for toxic coal ash retaining ponds that are often on the bank of a river and leach through the ground into the river. Similar situation with ephemeral streams: dump all your nasty waste in the dry creek bed and let the rain wash it into the river every spring.Farms area ctually a fairly small part of the pie:
The move delivers a major win for the agriculture, homebuilding, mining, and oil and gas industries, which have for decades sought to shrink the scope of the water law that requires them to obtain permits to discharge pollution into waterways or fill in wetlands, and imposes fines for oil spills into protected waterways.