07 February 2008

Clean Water Restoration Act Would Protect Wetlands

H.R. 2421 - "'waters of the United States' means all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.'"

Wetland regions in Nebraska and elsewhere not currently considered as a regulated wetland includes the Rainwater Basin, Sand Hills and prairie potholes further north.

This is some of the public response to the legislation, which in currently in committee review.

HR 2421, The Clean Water Restoration Act, what we call the National Wetlands Land Grab Act, is really a massive Federal land and water power grab. It will use the Corps of Engineers regulation of "wetlands" under the 1972 Clean Water Act as the pretext to take control over every farm, ranch, and piece of private property with any water on it or even if you only engage in activities that might affect water.

Wetlands are a vital resource for native wildlife, with wild birds a predominant feature. These habitats deserve protection from undue impacts. There needs to be more than a blithely concern for these resources.

"In January, 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineersissued instructions to agency officials to stop applying Clean Water Act protections to all so-called “isolated” waters."

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