The Clean Water Rule & How It Affects You!

Clean water Rule DefinedOn October 9, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a stay of the Obama Administration’s new rule defining the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The stay postpones nationwide implementation of the Clean Water Rule, which would dramatically expands the regulatory jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and upsets the balance of federal-state collaboration in restoring and maintaining the integrity of the nation’s waters.

But why would this seemingly innocent bill being stayed be a big deal for hunters and fishermen?

The Clean Water ACT

In 1969, Ohio’s Cuyahoga river was so contaminated with industrial pollution that the river caught on fire! This was a major event that pushed the public to demand action from congress. In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water ACT.
This clean Water Act Bill stopped the act of dumping pollutants from the point of source into the navigable waters of the us.

For the past 43 years with very few problems we as hunters and fishermen have been reaping the rewards from this bill and experiencing cleaner water and abundant populations of healthy animals.

Although I normally abhor expanded governmental grasp in this case the Clean Water ACT gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the power to clean up and control navigable waterways in the protection of wildlife. Not saying that the Clean Water Act does not have some downfalls but it does keep industrial dumping of pollutants from our wildlife areas.

The Clean Water Rule

EPAs Clean Water Rule

The EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” proposal would change the definition of “waters of the U.S.” as used in the Clean Water Act (CWA), expanding the range of “navigable waters” that fall under the CWA’s jurisdiction. The Clean Water Rule would extend the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers authority to regulate private land anywhere in the U.S. that water can conceivably run, even dry creek beds, manmade ditches, and intermittent standing water. Not exactly water sources that come to mind when one thinks of shipping and navigation.

This is a massive grasp and overreach of power that the EPA is trying to conduct and would essentially provide them with the ability to control all land and water inside the US.

How it directly affects us

On my grandmothers land there is a stream and a small pond where we would catch sunfish as a kid. This small pond and stream would now become a navigable water if they passed the Clean Water Rule giving the EPA full control over what could be done there and what restrictions are place on my fishing.

The area where i hunted growing up is a low lying area that is prone to flooding in the spring. This area would now become controlled by the EPA and Army Core of Engineers and would have to fall under any restriction imposed on it if the Clean Water Rule passes. Potentially this area could become a highly regulated area and restrict my ability to hunt in the area.

These are just Two examples of how if the bill does pass it would drastically effect us all in more ways than we can predict. By Staying the bill the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has made a move in the right direction to keep the balance of powers out of the federal hands and in the State and County offices where it belongs.

Not out of the weeds yet

One thing is clear, if the “Waters of the U.S.” proposal passes, it will not only infringe the property rights of millions of private citizens, but will set a dangerous precedent for government regulation of private lands – a precedent that would make it quite difficult to come back from. If the Clean Water Rule passes its next go around then we will have major problems to deal with as hunters and access to land that is currently protected!

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Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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