The illegal overreach of Obama, and the EPA on the illegal expansion of WOTUS impacts everyone in every state, not just Standing Rock ND.
A recently-published report by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works notes the final rule allowed for the agencies to broadly claim jurisdiction, including for puddles, tire ruts, sheet flow, and standing water. Under the new rule, these features reclassified as “disturbed wetlands” and regulated by the EPA. Further, if farmers change their land use from one form of agriculture to another, such as from crops to grazing, this can be considered a “new use,” rendering certain farmers vulnerable to losing their agricultural exemption.
The final rule also created an arbitrary standard whereby waters within 4,000 feet from any jurisdictional water would be covered. The rule states; [W]aters within the 100-year floodplain of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or the territorial seas and waters within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or the ordinary high water mark of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas, impoundments, or covered tributary are subject to case-specific significant nexus determinations.
So, this puts thousands of land owners in the same boat as Standing Rock ND, because the new 4,000 feet rule puts it into their back yard, as it dose for thousands throughout the U.S. and it was all done illegally through executive overreach.
The Army Corp of Engineers, "did not" go along with this new WOTUS. You need to read the full report. We are all being lied to about that. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which shares jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act, was cut out of the WOTUS rule development process.
Regulatory staff at the Corps also agreed with the need for an EIS environmental impact statement. When Smith recommended an EIS, he was removed from his duties on WOTUS, and replaced by someone who had no previous experience on WOTUS waters of the United States, and who “essentially started from scratch.” Smith’s replacement recommended a FONSI, which Assistant Secretary Darcy adopted.
[ A FONSI is issued when environmental analysis and interagency review during the EA process find a project to have no significant impacts on the quality of the environment. The FONSI document is the EA modified to reflect all applicable comments and responses. If it was not done in the EA, the FONSI must include the project sponsor's recommendation or selected alternative. No formal public circulation of the FONSI is required, but the state clearinghouse must be notified of the availability of the FONSI. In addition, FHWA recommends that the public be notified through notices in local newspapers.] Keep in mind, a legal "impact study" was never done!
A short brief of The House Oversight Committee findings on WOTUS;
The agencies pushed the rule through on an accelerated timeline that appeared to have been motivated by political considerations. Some officials involved in the process believed politics deprived them the opportunity to conduct a meaningful and full review of the rule before its promulgation. Interagency reviewers and the White House were not provided the full rule package for review.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which shares jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act, was cut out of the rule development process.
The EPA made no effort to ensure the rule was based on sound science. The EPA did not conduct additional research (which the Corps believed was necessary) to justify the rule’s conclusions. OIRA enabled the agencies to proceed with the rule-making despite violation of its own Information Quality standards.
The agencies did not consider alternatives to the rule, and even went so far as to gut the discussion of alternatives after OIRA stated such discussion was necessary.
The Army went to unusual lengths to avoid completing an Environmental Impact Statement after its own experts recommended such an analysis was necessary, in violation of NEPA. The Army pulled its primary WOTUS staffer off the rule entirely and retaliated against him after he recommended to conduct the analysis.
Disagreement over the EPA’s interpretation of the costs of the rule and its impact on small businesses continued throughout the rule-making. OIRA and the EPA intentionally avoided compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). The agencies construed the rule-making as “definitional” to avoid the EPA’s obligations under the RFA, altogether.
Public comments were not fully reviewed and considered before agencies drafted the final rule. The agencies contrived a unique process for considering and responding to public comments, despite arguments from Army Corps and EPA staff in favor of including such responses in the rule’s preamble, as is customary.
The agencies failed to comply with various rule-making obligations, including Executive Orders requiring consultation with states and local governments and tribes.
Complete details covered in the next two comment sections below. Urged to read it. Allot to read but you need to know all the facts because it effects everyone, in every state. Not just Standing Rock ND.
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