Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Its Time To Disband The EPA

Dear Readers,

Just for the record, I was in High School when the Environmental Protection Agency was created.

The year was 1970 and President Richard Nixon, yes a Republican, decided that places like New York's Hudson River was worse than a septic tank.

I first noticed the EPA getting out of hand in the late 1970s. I was involved in industrial security and found that the EPA was already closing down businesses for being what was termed "non-compliant."

Later I found out that they had a lot of power and they were not hesitant on using it.

As for pushing such a radical environmentalist agenda, I believe it was during the Clinton years that the EPA would start violating the Constitutional Rights of Americans in some way or another.

Of course, there are those who will remind us of the years which the EPA has provided valuable service by requiring polluters to clean up their mess.

But frankly, at what expense -- our freedom? Let's be honest here, they have grown way too powerful and out of control.

Besides this agency turning everyday life into a federal crime, they can now take your property and rights with no stopping them.

Typical of any organization with with too much power, the EPA has become our Enemy

On  March 25th, a headline read "EPA clean water rule could extend agency’s reach over private property"

The report noted that an Environmental Protection Agency draft proposal could end up allowing the agency to regulate bodies of water, no matter how small, located on private property.

The proposal is intended to clarify the EPA's regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.

While the EPA argues that the rulemaking is necessary to clear up uncertainties left in the wake of two Supreme Court rulings, Republicans argue that the agency's action could amount to one of the biggest private property grabs in U.S. history.

"The 'waters of the U.S.' rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history," said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.

"Today’s rule also shows EPA picking and choosing the science they use. Peer review of the Agency’s connectivity report is far from complete, and yet they want to take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country, while at the same time providing a new tool for environmental groups to sue private property owners."

The EPA's draft rule defines "waters of the United States" as "traditional navigable waters; interstate waters, including interstate wetlands; the territorial seas; impoundments of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, including interstate wetlands, the territorial seas, and tributaries, as defined, of such waters; tributaries, as defined, of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, or the territorial seas; and adjacent waters, including adjacent wetlands."

But the agency also alludes to other bodies of water which could be regulated if they have a "significant nexus" to a "traditional navigable water, interstate water, or the territorial seas."

It is unclear what significant nexus means, but the EPA says it will provide one when the rule is published.

As expected, Environmental Extremists cheered the EPA’s regulatory draft, arguing that such rules were needed to clear up legal uncertainties and provide necessary protections.

But while the EPA says it will prove exemptions for the agriculture industry in its new rule, it will determine on a case by case basis whether or not other bodies of water, possibly those on private property, have a "significant nexus" to regulated water bodies.

Specifically, the EPA cites one previous Supreme Court decision in 2006 which said that even if water is impounded or dammed up it does not mean it is no longer under federal jurisdiction.

"As a matter of policy and law, impoundments do not de-federalize a water, even where there is no longer flow below the impoundment," the EPA states, adding that tributaries will get similar treatment.

The agency says that even tributaries which are man-made could fall under EPA authority, this includes ponds, canals, impoundments and ditches.

No one argues against having clean air and water, but there is concern when the EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy says, "Clean water is essential to every single American, from families who rely on safe places to swim and healthy fish to eat, to farmers who need abundant and reliable sources of water to grow their crops, to hunters and fishermen who depend on healthy waters for recreation and their work, and to businesses that need a steady supply of water for operations" -- yet stifle businesses and seize private property.

And really, just how does the EPA justify regulating water bodies, including man-made ones, that are no longer connected to navigable waterways or other traditionally regulated bodies of water?

"As expected, the EPA's proposed water rule expands the agency’s control over natural and man-made streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands," said Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.

He goes on to say, "If approved, this rule could allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States. In preparing this proposal, the EPA failed to incorporate adequate peer-reviewed science in accordance with the agency’s own statutory obligations.

This could be the largest expansion ever of EPA’s authority to regulate private property."

House Republicans wrote to the White House last year. "The proposed rule could give the EPA unprecedented power over private property in the U.S.

Racing through the approval process without proper peer review and transparency amounts to an EPA power play to regulate America’s waterways. Such unrestrained federal intrusion poses a serious threat to private property rights, state sovereignty and economic growth."

Congress and U.S. laws mean nothing to the EPA

On March 19th, it was reported that the EPA releasing thousands of pages of records to Democrat Party operatives.

Yes, that is a violation of the law!

The EPA released thousands of pages of records to Democrat researchers, as they hunt for dirt on Republicans ahead of the mid-term elections.

A government agency being used as a political weapon against another political party?

No, it's not just the IRS any more. Now there is proof that it's also the EPA.

The EPA attacks on private citizens!

Unbridled  power is a dangerous thing, and the EPA has it!

A report on March 15th, notes that the EPA wants to slap a $75,000-a-day fine on a landowner who built a "stock pond" on own property

This isn't some big corporate polluter, this is a blue-collar family who owns their own property and built their own stock pond.

The EPA has gone crazy with power and now even Senators are trying to intervene on behalf of a Wyoming landowner facing $75,000-a-day in Environmental Protection Agency fines for building a stock pond on his own property.

The EPA compliance order against Andrew Johnson of Unita County claims that he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Johnson says it was a stock pond, which would make it exempt from CWA permitting requirements.

The EPA is demanding that Johnson restore the creek as it was or face penalties. Do it, and do it now, or else!

Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.), along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), wrote the EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner have asked the EPA to back off from intimidating the landowner.

In a letter, they wrote: "Rather than a sober administration of the Clean Water Act, the Compliance Order reads like a draconian edict of a heavy-handed bureaucracy.

The Compliance Order also appears to rest on a broad assertion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, offering an ominous signal of EPA’s intentions for its current ‘waters of the United States’ rulemaking.

The EPA appears more interested in intimidating and bankrupting Mr. Johnson than it does in working cooperatively with him."

The senators also noted that the severe fines Johnson faces, saying, "Fairness and due process require that EPA base its Compliance Order on more than an assumption. 

Instead of treating Mr. Johnson as guilty until he proves his innocence by demonstrating his entitlement to the Clean Water Act section 404(f)(1)(C) stock pond exemption, EPA should make its case that a dam was built and that the Section 404 exemption does not apply.

As it stands now, EPA’s failure to demonstrate in detail how Mr. Johnson’s building activities constituted the construction of a dam prejudices his opportunity to meaningfully respond to the Compliance Order."

Friends, since its creation in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has done more harm than good.

EPA regulations cost more than 5 percent of our annual gross domestic product - the equivalent of the costs of Department of Defense and Homeland Security combined.

Since the EPA regulations have expanded, unemployment in America has increased by 33 percent.

This abuse of power by the implementation of regulations infringes upon our basic constitutional rights.  There have been too many reports of individual rights being violated by abusive and power-hungry EPA bureaucrats and their enforcement personnel.

Besided assaulting personal liberty, this agency has hampered landowners' ability to manage their private property as they please and have impaired job creation.

Fact is that the EPA belives they have more rights to private property than does the owners.

Subsequently, Americans are suffering because of the overreach of regulatory agencies such as the EPA.

Another example took place in Pennsylvania.

This story concerns John Pozsgai, an immigrant from Hungary, who worked as a mechanic and eventually saved enough money to purchase the land bordering his home in Morrisville, Pa.

The land was an old auto junkyard, and Mr. Pozsgai, taking pride in his home, proceeded to clean up this landfill by removing 7,000 old tires and rusted-out automobiles.

But, the EPA did not view this effort as a clean-up but rather a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Yes, they use the Clean Water Act like a robber uses a gun!

According to the EPA, Mr. Pozsgai's property was actually a wetland as defined by the EPA as any property that has some sort of connection to a wetland.

That connection to a wetland was a small drainage ditch located on the edge of his property.

Mr. Pozsgai did not need a permit to dump topsoil on an isolated wetland. But, the Army Corps of Engineers insisted he apply for one.

After that, the EPA actually set up surveillance cameras to capture Mr. Pozsgai filling his land with topsoil.

Imagine this for a moment, he was cleaning up an old junkyard and filling it in with clean topsoil and he is under "surveillance" by a government agency!

As insane as that sounds, EPA agents then arrested him for "discharging pollutants into waters of the United States."

Those "pollutants" consisted of "earth, topsoil and sand."

The EPA openly admits that no hazardous wastes were involved in the case, yet Mr. Pozsgai was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison and fined $202,000.

Mr. Pozsgai spent a year and a half in prison, a year and a half in a halfway house, and was under supervised probation for five years.

His family went bankrupt and was unable to pay its property taxes on the land.

This is criminal and no one is doing anything about it!

Think Mr Johnson and Mr Pozsgai are isolated cases? They are not by far.

Another abuse of EPA power is the case of John Rapanos.

Federal officials prosecuted Mr. Rapanos for shoveling dirt around on his property in Bay County, Mich.

That's right! The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers filed charges against Mr. Rapanos for "polluting" the wetlands by leveling the soil on his property.

Under the "migratory molecule" rule, the Army Corps claims that any isolated wetland can fall under federal jurisdiction because there is a speculative possibility that a water molecule from one wetland may reach another navigable waterway.

In Mr. Rapanos' case, the nearest navigable water is roughly 20 miles from his property.

The federal officials had little evidence and U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff threw out the conviction and refused to follow the unjust federal guidelines enforced by the EPA.

Unfortunately, Judge Zatkoff was overruled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Mr. Rapanos later appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, yet the court refused to hear his case.

He now faces possible jail time.

And how about Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho, who are also victims of the EPA's abusive and overbearing practices.

The Sackett family sought to build a house on its half-acre of land, yet after construction broke ground, the EPA interfered, claiming the family violated the Clean Water Act by placing fill materials into "wetlands."

Their property was designated as a wetland, yet their neighbors have built houses on either side of their lot and their lot already has established sewage lines.

Their lot does not harbor a lake, pond or stream, yet the EPA is requiring them to obtain a building permit that would cost more than the value of their land.

The Sacketts proceeded by filing suit, but the request was dismissed by a federal judge. The Supreme Court is now considering these violations.

The Clean Water Restoration Act goes far beyond the original intent of the law which was the protection of waterfowl and the conservation of wetlands.

The repeated abuse of power by the EPA has been noted across the country, infringing on the lives of all Americans.

Property rights were once regarded as fundamental to the protection of liberty, and it is time that legislators restore the value of personal property and do something about government overreach.

Senator Rand Paul is trying to do something. He introduced the REINS Act (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act).

This act is designed to increase accountability in the federal regulatory process by reining in abuse and political agendas.

This legislation would require Congress to approve every major rule proposed by the Executive Branch, and subsequently rein in abuse of agencies which take their orders from radical leftist like President Obama.

By opening the regulatory process to public scrutiny, government agencies will be held accountable by all American citizens.

This is a common-sense reform that will increase congressional liability, improve the regulatory process and protect citizens from restrictions being placed on their economic and private practices.

The REINS Act would ensure that federal agencies cannot destroy jobs, our economy or our way of life by implementing unnecessary regulations. Harmful and abusive regulations must be put to rest.

The problem is that the REINS Act has no chance of passing the Democrat controlled Senate even if it gets through the House of Representatives.

And there is the problem, it seems that nothing can be done on the legislative side to rein in the EPA and other government agencies such as the IRS.

It seems that the only solution is to kill the EPA, disband it, dissolve it, make it go away.

Maybe then we can create a smaller better organized less powerful agency that will put Americans ahead of their allegiance to environmental extremist groups and a power hungry ideology.

Because of such abuse as I listed above, it is no wonder that an estimated 80% of Americans believe that the size of the federal government must be reduced.

There is a huge difference between citizens and subjects, Americans are being treated as regulated subjects of a regulation nation instead of free citizens of a free nation.

The EPA needs to be dissolved now before it harms more Americans who it sees as subjects of the state -- no different than how a government agency acts under a dictatorship.

This report is compiled from many sources.

Tom Correa

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