Land Rights Network American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400
Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - Fax: 360-687-2973
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003
Your Senator Votes On Huge Water Land Grab Bill Thurs., June 18
Senate Committee S 787 Wetlands Vote Thursday, June 18
Urgent! Please forward this message as widely as possible. You'll see from the included articles that this is a critical e-mail.
-----The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) is scheduled to hold a vote (mark-up) on the Clean Water Restoration Act (Wetlands) (S 787) Thursday, June 18th.
-----You are receiving this e-mail because you live in a state of a Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The vote is on the official schedule for June 18th. Urge a NO vote.
-----Congress is trying to pretend that S 787 "clarifies" the Clean Water Act and the Supreme Court cases. It does the exact opposite. It greatly expands the power of the Corps and EPA.
-----Action Items below.
Below at the bottom of the Landrights e-mail are several important articles from different organizations. Here is a list.
-----A. InsideEPA news article regarding which Senators are working behind closed doors to pass S 787.
-----B. E-mail by RJ Smith, Center for Private Conservation.
-----C. Alert by the American Farm Bureau.
-----D. Alert by the National Water Conservation Organization
See entire Senate Environment and Public Works Committee below.
-----We can only get the message out fast enough to affect the vote if you forward this e-mail. Send it to your entire list. You are doing a great job but you must keep it up.
-----This is an urgent, all out call to action on the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) (Wetlands).
-----Call your friends, call your neighbors. You are doing a great job so far. Now is the time for a grassroots uprising.
-----Deluge your senators with calls, faxes and e-mails at (202) 224-3121. You can call any Senator at that number. Their faxes are listed below. Ask for the e-mail of the staffer in charge of this issue. You need to make sure they know they will be held responsible for their votes on this issue.
-----Do you want the Corps and EPA in your backyard?
-----Do you want the EPA and Corps to control your water?
-----Do you want the Corps and EPA to control all your watersheds that means all your land too?
------That's what will happen if the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787) passes Congress.
-----Besides private property, the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S 787) threatens businesses, agriculture, small communities, grazing, forestry, mining and many other uses on private and Federal land. It will affect many kinds of manufacturing companies and businesses.
-----The Real Goal of the Clean Water Restoration Act (S787) is to give Corps and EPA Control over your water and all your watersheds. That means National Land Use Controls as well as control over all your water and land. That's because all land is in a watershed.
-----Congress is considering expanding the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to include "all waters of the United States" and "all activities affecting those waters" and not limit it to "navigable waters" as is currently the law under two Supreme Court Decisions, the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----S 787 expands the definition of waters and gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Corps of Engineers (Corps) and other Federal agencies control over activities that affect waters-any land use activities.
-----There has been no hearing on S 787 in this Congress.
-----Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) tried to ram through a vote on S 787 Thursday, May 7th, but there were objections. The Committee wanted to vote May 20th and June 10th but were unable to.
That's because of your phone calls, e-mails and other contacts. You are doing a great job but you must keep it up.
-----Please accept our apology for the length of this message. We believed it was important for you to see the various important articles we have added.
-----Also call the National Rifle Association at (703) 267-1000 to stop their back room deal selling out farmers, ranchers and landowners. As a life member of the NRA, I want the NRA to protect our guns, not help take our land.
You can read about what the NRA is doing in the Inside The EPA news story below. They did the same thing on the huge "Omnibus Federal Lands Bill" that passed including 150 separate bills with NRA help a couple of months ago. The NRA also supported CARA until American Land Rights successfully organized a rump group within the NRA to pull their support for CARA several years ago - Chuck Cushman
If you live in Montana, you should know that Senator Max Baucus is working on a backroom deal to get S 787 voted out of Committee. The people in Montana must rise up and tell him no to the Clean Water Restoration Act, S 787. See Inside EPA article below about Baucus slight of hand efforts.
If you live in Tennessee, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is also working on the backroom deal to pass S 787. You need to call him and give him a piece of your mind.
If you live in Ohio, you need to ask Senator Voinovich to stop trying to pass S 787.
If you live in Minnesota, understand that Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is working in the dark of night to pass S 787 with Senators Baucus (D-MT), Alexander (R-TN) and Voinovich (R-OH). - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Action Items: Here's what you can do to fight back.
-----1. Forward this message to your entire list if possible. This is a huge issue for rural America and every landowner.
-----2. Call your Senator or Senators who are on the Environment and Public Works Committee list below to insist that the Committee hold new hearings on S 787 in this Congress before any vote. When you call, ask them to vote "NO" on S 787. Ask for the staff person who handles S 787 and ask for his or her e-mail or fax.
-----3. You must deluge the Committee with calls requesting hearings and a no vote. Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.
-----4. Send a fax to your Senator. A faxable formatted pdf Testimony Questionnaire can be printed out from American Land Rights at www.landrights.org You can make changes.
-----5. Tape a copy of this e-mail to your refrigerator door to remind you what to follow up on this week and later.
-----6. You can get both a formatted Testimony Questionnaire that you can fax and an unformatted text version that you can put in e-mail. It is too late to use the US Mail. We have included the fax number for your Senator who is on the EPW Committee listed below.
-----7. You must also request a recorded vote on S 787 when they do vote. We must be able to give the Senators that vote for this huge land and water grab all the credit they deserve for their votes.
-----8. Call the National Rifle Association at (703) 267-1000. Insist that they overturn their backroom deal and come out against S 787.
-----9. You should call both your Senators even if they are not on the EPW Committee to ask that they request the EPW Committee to hold new hearings and that any Senators on the Committee they talk to vote no on S 787. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - There must be an all out call of outrage to the Senators on the Committee opposing a vote until they hold a hearing this year on the new bill S 787. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Make sure they know you oppose S 787 and urge them to vote against it. Make sure they know you will hold them responsible.
-----Here is a list of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Members: Their phones must ring off the hook. You want new hearings held in 2009.
Call your Senators, and then call the other Senators. You can call all Senators at (202) 224-3121 or their individual offices listed below.
-----EPW Comm: Democrats:.PH: 202-224-8832.Fax: 224-1273
Barbara Boxer, CA (Chair).Ph: 202-224-3553.Fax 224-1454
Max Baucus, MT.Ph: 202-224-2651.Fax 224-9412
Thomas Carper, DE.Ph: 202-224-2441.Fax 228-2190
Frank Lautenberg NJ.Ph: 202-224-3224.Fax 228-4054
Benjamin Cardin, MD.Ph: 202-224-4524.Fax 224-1651
Bernard Sanders, VT (Ind).Ph: 202-224-5141.Fax 228-0776
Amy Klobuchar, MN.Ph: 202-224-3244.Fax 228-2186
Sheldon Whitehouse, RI.Ph: 202-224-2921 Fax 228-6362
Tom Udall, NM.Ph: 202-224-6621.Fax 228-3261
Jeff Merkley OR.Ph: 202-224-3753.Fax 228-3997
Kirsten Gillibrand, NY.Ph: 202-224-4451.Fax 228-0282
Arlen Specter, PA.Ph: 202-222-4254.Fax 228-4254 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----- EPW Republicans:.PH: 202-224-6176.Fax: 224-5167
James Inhofe, OK (Rnk. Mem.).Ph: 202-224-4721.Fax 228-0380
George Voinovich, OH.Ph: 202-224-3353.Fax 228-1382
David Vitter, LA.Ph: 202-224-4623.Fax 228-5061
John Barrasso, WY.Ph: 202-224-6441.Fax 224-1724
Mike Crapo, ID.Ph: 202-224-6142.Fax 228-1375
Christopher Bond, MO.Ph: 202-224-5721.Fax 224-8149
Lamar Alexander, TN.Ph: 202-224-4944.Fax 228-3398
Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters
Here are the two Committees that have jurisdiction. You can see a complete list of committee members at www.landrights.org
-----House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
-----Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act is a massive land and water grab. You need to read the following information and then contact both your Senators and your Congressman.
-----Additional Action Items:
-----1. Go to www.landrights.org to see the Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
-----2. Go to www.landrights.org to check which of your Senators or Congressman is on the Committees listed above. You have a lot more power if you find your Congressman or Senator is on the list of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House or the Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate.
-----3. Write, call, fax and e-mail both your Senators even if they are not listed on the Environment and Public Works Committee. You may call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the staff person who handles the Wetlands, Corps of Engineers or the Environment and Public Works Committee. Request his or her e-mail address or fax number. You can write any Senator at: Honorable _________ U. S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510. It is better to fax your letter because time may be short.
Be sure to ask when the hearings are scheduled, request to be notified about those hearings, and request to testify if you can.
To send testimony you can use the revised and updated New Clean Water Restoration Act Corps of Engineers, EPA and Wetlands Testimony Questionnaire available in both formatted and text versions at www.landrights.org
-----4. Write, call, fax and e-mail your Congressman in opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act no matter if he or she is on either of the two Committees listed above. What you need to know is written below. You may call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. We've made it easy to write testimony by setting up two versions of the Testimony Questionnaire on the website www.landrights.org
-----The first version is a formatted version you can print out, add your comments to, and fax or mail it to your Senators or your Congressman.
-----The second version is an unformatted text version you can put in your word processor, edit to meet your needs and concerns, and then e-mail to your Senators and Congressman. Just go to www.landrights.org and the two versions for the Senate and the two versions for the House will be right on the home page.
When you call your Congressman, ask for the staff person who handles Wetlands, the Corps of Engineers or the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and request his or her e-mail address. You can write any Congressman at: Honorable _________ , US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.
Finding the Testimony Questionnaires is easy. They are right on the home page at www.landrights.org The formatted version can be printed out and mailed or faxed to your Senators and Congressman with any added comments you wish to make. The text version you can put in your word processor and edit any way you like. Then e-mail it to your Senators and Congressman.
You can also use the Testimony Questionnaires to give you ideas to write a personal letter. Keep it to one page. Because of time, be sure to fax or e-mail it to your Congressman and both Senators.
-----Rep. James Oberstar and Senators Feingold, Baucus, Voinovich, Klobuchar and Alexander are leading the fight to overturn two Supreme Court cases that ruled that the Corps of Engineers and EPA did not have jurisdiction over waters that were not "navigable".
Oberstar, Feingold, Baucus, Voinovich, Alexander and Klobuchar will try to gut the meaning of the word "Navigable." They are doing this to make it possible for Democrats on their Committees to vote for the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) without getting hammered by you.
Your Congressman and both Senators must hear from you that you are not falling for this trick. They must learn from you that they will be held responsible if they vote for the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA).
----- Maps showing existing Clean Water Act affected areas compared to the areas affected if the CWRA (Clean Water Restoration Act) (S 787) if the CWRA were to pass Congress are right on our homepage at www.landrights.org
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act is worse than a mere return to the jurisdiction the Corps of Engineers and EPA had before the U.S. Supreme Court limited their jurisdiction. It gives the jurisdiction to the federal government that the environmental bureaucrats only dreamed of before the Supreme Court's rulings.
-----An example is that the Federal bureaucracies will gain control over all the watersheds in the United States. That includes dry land inside or adjacent to watersheds. That means everything. Because all land is in a watershed.
-----And in fact the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787) even goes far beyond that by adding the language, "the activities affecting these waters," which is essentially a limitless national land use control provision.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act restores the jurisdiction of the Corps and EPA over all the lands they had taken jurisdiction over before the two critical Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----The Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) is the biggest threat to private property since CARA and actually affects far more land and people. It seeks to overturn the critical Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001 that said the Corps of Engineers was going outside their jurisdiction.
Alert ... Alert ... Alert
Democrats and Oberstar staff lay out their plan to use Clean Water Act and Corps Jurisdiction to create national land use controls.
Read it in their own words.
Oberstar staff White Paper is published on American Land Rights Website, www.landrights.org
ALRA has published an Executive Summary and Analysis of the Oberstar Staff White Paper written by our associate Don Parmeter of the National Water Conservation Alliance. You'll see in their own words what the Democrats plan is to control your land. Go to www.landrights.org
------In the White Paper on the Clean Water Act you'll see how Rep. James Oberstar, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee want to give the power and jurisdiction to the Corps of Engineers and EPA to control all the watersheds in the United States. All land is in a watershed.
-----House Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) made it clear at a hearing last year that he plans to overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
-----That would give the Corps of Engineers and EPA jurisdiction over nearly all private and Federal land. The Supreme Court limited that jurisdiction in the two Supreme Court decisions. Look at the two maps for comparison of how the Clean Water Restoration Act affects the country at www.landrights.org
Even if you sent in testimony last year, you should do it again. This is a new Congress and a new bill.
Some Democrats have real concerns about the affect of the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) on their constituents. They are worried about whether you will realize that the CWRA (S 787) really hurts you in a big way and that their vote will be held against them in the election next year. Your actions can help get both Democrats and Republicans to oppose the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787).
-----You must make it clear to them that you know the Clean Water Restoration Act will overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
That means the CWRA (S787) will vastly expand the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers and the EPA.
It is critical that you take action with both your Senators and your Congressman and any other Congressman from your state. Please fill out and e-mail or fax or e-mail your Testimony Questionnaire to both your Senators and your Congressman. You can find specially written versions for both the Senate and the House at www.landrights.org You are free to change them any way you want.
If you sent testimony to your Senators or Congressman last year, it does not count now. You must do it again because it is a new Congress and the Testimony Questionnaire at www.landrights.org is different than what you sent before.
-----Call at least five friends, forward this message to them, and get them to submit testimony.
-----What the bill supporters are doing is using the term "Clean Water," which everybody wants, as a tool to pass legislation (S 787) that is really about land use control and has little or nothing to do with clean water. It is a huge rural land grab but it affects urban areas too. Their target is land use control over all lands, both urban and rural.
-----What the Clean Water Restoration Act does is give the Corps of Engineers and EPA control over all private property in the US by changing the definition of "wetlands" under the Clean Water Act of 1972 expanding the regulatory reach of the Corps and EPA over private property.
Go to www.landrights.org to print out a formatted Testimony Questionnaire to mail or fax to both your Senators and your Congressman. Or download a text version you can edit in your word processing program and then e-mail to your Congressman and both Senators.
You can borrow information from the Testimony Questionnaire to simply write a letter. Try to keep your letter to one page. Fax the letter if you can. Mail is too slow for this vote. Follow up with a phone call.
-----Urgent Action Required
You must take urgent action to help stop the CWRA (S787) (Clean Water Restoration Act). This bill will have a huge impact on business, agriculture, small communities, rural America, farming, ranching and all private lands. It will overturn the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001. No one who owns private land is safe.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Chuck Cushman Executive Director American Land Rights Association (360) 687-3087 firstname.lastname@example.org
See the Land Rights Network reprint below of InsideEPA article that talks about the NRA inside backroom deal. See who is selling you out. Senators Baucus, Alexander, Voinovich and Klobuchar are involved in a backroom deals in order to pass S 787. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Daily News from InsideEPA.com - Wednesday, June 03, 2009
To Win Farm Support For CWA Bill, Baucus Exempts Chemical Spraying
In an apparent bid to win support from agriculture groups for legislation clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is offering to exempt pesticide spraying activities from water act permit requirements imposed by a controversial recent appellate ruling.
Baucus has also proposed to exempt hunting and shooting activities from the water law to address National Rifle Association (NRA) concerns that recent court rulings have defined bullets as a "point source" if they are discharged into waters.
But the pesticide exemption is facing opposition from environmentalists and has not yet won support from other Democrats on the Senate environment committee. "Serious discussions are ongoing, but no final resolution has been made," a source close to the situation says.
It is also not clear whether the Obama administration will back Baucus' proposal. The Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of EPA, in a May 27 brief reiterated its call for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to stay for two years its January ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA requiring permits for spraying activities, a move intended to give the agency time to craft a permit program.
And in a June 3 brief DOJ urged the 6th Circuit to deny an industry request for an en banc rehearing, saying "EPA believes it can conform its conduct to comply with the panel's decision."
Baucus' proposal, an amendment to a Democratic bill seeking to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act, S. 787, would add pesticide application to a list of activities exempt from the discharge standards in section 402 of the water law, if applied in accordance with federal pesticide regulations.
Baucus' office is floating the amendment in hopes of winning support to include it in the bill, introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). It is the latest proposal Baucus has floated to amend the Feingold bill.
Last month he floated a substitute to the Feingold bill that hewed closely to a proposal from states that codified EPA's regulatory definition of jurisdictional waters, making most waters subject to federal oversight, not just "navigable waters" as is the case under current law.
Environmentalists insist on dropping jurisdiction based on navigability as a way to overcome current and possible future Supreme Court limitations on jurisdiction, but industry officials insist on maintaining it.
The Baucus plan also codified regulatory exemptions for prior converted croplands and waste treatment systems that environmentalists have long opposed codifying.
His latest proposal retains those two exemptions while also adding new exemptions for shooting activities and pesticide spraying. If the chemicals are applied "in accordance with the instructions on the label" under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act, the spraying "shall be considered to have met all requirements for a permit under this section," the new amendment says.
The new exemption is a response to the Cotton Council ruling, which says pesticide spraying on or near waters constitutes a "point source," requiring a water act permit. Industry officials say that the ruling has far reaching implications for pesticide applications and other activities previously considered as nonpoint source activities that until now have been exempted from permit requirements under the CWA.
EPA in its recent briefs says that the agency may have to issue as many as 365,000 new permits because of the ruling.
The case played a key role in the agriculture industry's opposition to Feingold's bill, which they say could expand the reach of the CWA to more waters than were originally regulated under the water act before two Supreme Court rulings.
Feingold's bill seeks to clarify the CWA in the wake of two cases -- Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos, et ux., et al. v. United States -- which critics say have narrowed the law's jurisdiction over isolated wetlands, intermittent streams and other marginal waters. In SWANCC, the court limited the basis for asserting jurisdiction over solely intrastate waters, while in Rapanos, the court provided two competing tests for determining jurisdiction.
Baucus and other moderates have been seeking to pick up support from some in the agriculture community for Feingold's bill, according to industry sources. The latest offer could boost prospects for the bill's passage. For instance, one source says the wheat sector may endorse the Baucus amendment.
But despite Baucus' latest effort, most industry groups, including many agricultural organizations, continue to take a hard line against the legislation because it would remove "navigable" from its definition of "waters," which industry critics say would broaden the reach of the CWA far beyond the law's original reach.
Sources following the negotiations say the changes Baucus made to the bill are also in part intended to appease concerns from the NRA stemming from several federal court decisions defining bullets as a "point source" if they are discharged into waters. An NRA source says the organization has voiced its concerns to Senate environment committee members that the bill could drastically expand permitting requirements.
"The [EPA] administrator shall neither require a permit under this section, nor directly or indirectly require any state to require a permit, for any discharge from a firearm during hunting or competitive or recreational shooting," the amendment says, adding the language to section 402(l) of the CWA, which includes other exemptions for agriculture, oil and gas related stormwater runoff. The amendment also includes exemptions for hunting and recreational shooting under sections 404 and 502 of the CWA.
Baucus' bid may also underscore a desire by moderates on the environment committee to obtain additional political cover in order to support Feingold' s bill, even after the Obama Administration recently issued statement of principles calling on Congress to "broadly protect" waters under the CWA.
Environmentalists and others said the Obama administration's recent release of principles calling for legislation to expand the reach of the water act could provide cover for moderates like Baucus and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
While the principles stop short of endorsing a particular bill, they go some way towards heeding environmentalists' calls for the incoming Obama administration to endorse S. 787. The principles also echo recent statements from Jackson who called for a legislative fix to expand the law's scope.
The statement does, however, endorse calls by states and industry groups to preserve existing regulatory exemptions, such as those for prior converted croplands.
Republicans and industry groups continue to call for further hearings on legislation to define the scope of the CWA, arguing that new members of the environment committee deserve more information on the bill. Both industry groups and EPA held briefings for Senate staff on the issue this week. -- Jonathan Strong
End of InsideEPA article - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - RJ Smith
Article-----This is a forward of an e-mail sent by RJ Smith of the Center For
Private Conservation on Friday, June 12th. Even though it makes this message
even longer, it is very much worth your time to read. You can reach RJ at email@example.com
"I received an email at 11:05 p.m. last night from E&PW staff that Sen. Barbara Boxer and company are going to bring the Clean Water Restoration Act up for full committee mark-up and vote in their Thursday 18 June business session scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the EPW Hearing Room, 406 Dirksen.
This is Sen. Russ Feingold's S.787 which was introduced on April 2.
With the Democrats having nationalized the financial, banking and automobile industries -- bringing a strong layer of socialism to the key portions of the US economy, they are now moving to nationalize the American land and water.
Under the Clean Water Act the Federal government only had the authority to regulate "navigable waters" and control the discharge of pollutants and dredge and fill activities within those navigable waters.
The so-called Clean Water RESTORATION Act restores nothing. That is a hoax. Instead it removes the restrictive and limiting terms "navigable" waters and unconstitutionally extends the Federal regulatory authority over ALL waters of the United States. This includes the driest desert areas that may only hold water for a few weeks a year during summer monsoon rains. And it includes completely isolated prairie potholes (small ponds and marshes) with no connection whatsoever to any other waters.
Furthermore, the bill will now prohibit ALL activities affecting all waters of the United States. This means that anything a landowner, a business, a county roads department, a waterfowl conservation program undertakes that could conceivably affect anything that is wet -- will be subject to the discretionary jurisdiction of Army Corps or EPA bureaucrats. They will then be able to make the lives of family farmers, ranchers, tree farmers, homebuilders -- almost anyone and everyone -- literally impossible. They will have the total power to force every farmer or rancher or ordinary business owner to run a gauntlet of permits, red tape, delays -- that will delay projects long enough and cost so much as to essentially shut down or bankrupt even the most necessary and innocuous projects.
There are copious examples of wetlands horror stories over the last 20 years where people have been imprisoned and fined staggering amounts for simply building their own home, cleaning up dumps, or creating habitat for waterfowl. And that occurred under the CWA restrictions of "navigable waters" and prohibitions only on discharging pollutants and dredge and fill activities.
Once those constraints are removed by the CWRA, life will quickly become a bureaucratic nightmare with no exit -- particularly so throughout all of rural America. This bill would be much more honestly named The Rural Cleansing Act of 2009.
This will be a tough battle given that the E&PW Committee make up is 12 Ds and 7 Rs (which includes Senators George Voinovich and Lamar Alexander.)
It is especially important to enlist the help of the agricultural community, especially county and state farm bureaus. Request that they notify not only the members of the Senate E&PW but also the Senate Agriculture Committee.
It is also vital to contact Rep. Collin Peterson Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and request that he ask for oversight hearings on the impact of the CWRA on America's farmers and the nation's food production.
You should also request that the farmers and ranchers you know and your county and state farm bureaus and cattlemen's associations contact the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association asking them to strongly oppose the CWRA."
End of RJ Smith E-mail. - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - -
From the American Farm Bureau, June 12, 2009:
AFBF: Even Rainwater would be Regulated Under the CWRA WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2009 - The American Farm Bureau Federation today said S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act, leaves no water unregulated in the United States and could even impact standing water from rain in a dry area. The organization signed onto a letter on behalf of the Water Advocacy Coalition to Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) asking them to oppose the legislation.
"S. 787 would remove any bounds from the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction, so that the regulatory reach of the act would extend to all water -- anywhere from farm ponds, to storm water retention basins, to roadside ditches, to desert washes, to streets and gutters, even to a puddle of rainwater," stated the letter. "For the first time in the 36-year history of the act, activities that have no impact on actual rivers and lakes would be subject to full federal regulation."
According to AFBF, by applying the Clean Water Act to "all interstate and intrastate waters," farmers and ranchers would be significantly impacted due to the number of normal farming activities that would be subject to citizen-suit provisions of the Clean Water Act, which could lead to outright regulation.
"Not only would many activities not previously regulated require federal permits, those permits would be subject to challenge in federal court, delaying or halting these activities to the detriment of our economy," stated the letter.
AFBF also believes that by deleting the term "navigable" as a condition for regulation under the Clean Water Act, it would allow for an extraordinary expansion of federal jurisdiction, giving the federal government the right to exert inordinate control over private property, while opening the door for activists to sue landowners whose activities they don't like.
The coalition letter signed by AFBF stated that the group supports the protection of U.S. navigable waters, as well as rivers and streams that flow to navigable waters. All of these are already protected under the Clean Water Act today. -30- Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine (202) 406-3642 firstname.lastname@example.org Mace Thornton (202) 406-3641 email@example.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- National Water & Conservation Alliance St. Paul, Minnesota - Vancouver, Washington
Action Alert - National Water and Conservation Alliance
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer Schedules Markup of S. 787 Without Hearing
***This bill will profoundly impact every citizen & community in the country--You need to keep up the pressure: It's been working***
1. Bombard the EPW Committee Members Listed in this e-mail. office with phone calls and tell them to postpone committee action and demand a hearing on the bill:
2. Contact both of your Senators and ask them to request a hearing on the bill. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.
3. Contact your member of Congress and ask him or her not to cosponsor this legislation. You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121.
4. Contact your governor, state legislators and local elected officials and ask them to weigh in on this issue.
5. Forward this message to people and organizations in your network.
Note: If you are a Minnesota citizen, you need to contact Sen. Amy Klobuchar at (202) 224-3244. She is one of four senators on the Committee that has been appointed to cut a deal, and the word in Washington is that she is doing Rep. Oberstar's bidding for him.
Washington, D.C. __ The Oberstar-Feingold Clean Water Restoration Act, regarded as perhaps the biggest federal power grab in the nation's history, has been scheduled for committee markup and possible passage this Thursday, June 18th. The bill has been held up in the Environment and Public Works Committee for over a month because of large-scale, grassroots opposition from around the country.
Committee Chair Barbara Boxer has been frustrated for the past month, and is strong-arming Democrats on the Committee to support a bill without a hearing. She has also established a 'gang of four' to come up with language that would assure Committee approval.
The four are Max Baucus (D-MT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Baucus is the leading critic on the Democratic side, and is trying to 'cut a deal' by appeasing interests in his state.
The chief author in the House is Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar. Rep. Oberstar chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has sole jurisdiction of the legislation in the House. This is purported to be a 'legacy' bill for Rep. Oberstar, and although there is virtually no support for the bill in his own district, he has made it a top priority for his Committee, and is expected to introduce a bill in the House soon.
Rep. Oberstar recently received a green light from high level officials in the Obama Administration, including the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Interior, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality.
As Reed Hopper, lead attorney in a 2006 landmark Supreme Court decision stated in testimony, ".....this bill pushes the limits of federal power to an extreme not matched by any other law, probably in the history of this country."
Hopper wasn't exaggerating. This bill expands federal power in two ways:
1) By removing the limiting term 'navigable' from the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act and replacing it with the all inclusive 'waters of the U.S.' (including wetlands, intermittent streams, playa lakes, prairie potholes, sandflats, mudflats, ponds, meadows and sloughs).
2) By adding the new language 'activities affecting these waters,' which refers to land use activity as well as atmospheric deposition. As Rep. Oberstar has often stated, "water flows downhill." That is to say that the bill is about federal control of entire watersheds. And everything is in a watershed--all water, all land, all people, all communities.
In short, this bill is not about clean water. It's about governance. It's aim is top-down, command and control of land, water, people and communities. It should be viewed as perhaps the greatest threat ever to liberty, property, jobs, energy independence, and access to and use and enjoyment of public lands and waters. In the words of Jim Burling, senior attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, "If our constitutional system of limited federal powers means anything, we have to win on this issue."
The bill would overturn two U.S. Supreme Court decisions (SWANCC--2001 and Rapanos--2006) which ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had exceeded their authority under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Cleverly and deceptively titled the Clean Water Restoration Act, the only thing the Oberstar-Feingold bill restores, and legalizes, is the abuse of the individual rights of American citizens, and the continued expansion of federal control over every aspect of American life.
In case you think we're overstating the case, a 2006 report prepared by Oberstar's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff leaves no doubt as to what this legislation is about. The report emphasizes that control of non-point sources is the unfinished agenda of the Clean Water Act.
The simple definition of a non-point source is 'anything that doesn't come out of a pipe.' This would include agriculture, forestry, mining, energy development, home-building and other property improvement, as well as recreational uses of public lands and waters.
It would include activities such as mowing your lawn, planting a garden, or building, maintaining, or using a recreational trail--virtually any human activity you can imagine. As Ali Cambel, professor of Environmental Studies at George Washington University warned over 30 years ago, "Wait until they get around to controlling non-point sources of water pollution."
The bill is not about pollution, it's about power. It is being supported by every national environmental organization in the country as a means of maintaining and expanding their power base in Washington. Many of these groups don't just have office space in Washington--they own buildings! There are no checks and balances, and little oversight.
This is purely and simply a redistribution of power and authority, removing it from American citizens and communities and their state and local elected officials, and transferring it to a massive federal bureaucracy. That is why organizations such as the National Association of Counties are so strongly opposed to the legislation.
Of course, there are some who will benefit. If passed, it will be a full-employment act for environmental activists and attorneys, already a major growth-industry in America. There will be endless litigation, as every acre of land and water in the country is up for dispute as to whether a human activity should be allowed.
This legislation is expansive and precedent-setting, so please act immediately.
Above is the full makeup of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:
This bill must be defeated, so please act now! There's a better way to achieve water quality objectives--a way that allows for every citizen to participate in solutions to environmental problems--solutions that are better, faster and cheaper! This approach has been tried successfully in many parts of the country.
It works. And it can not only lead to common sense solutions to problems, it can help restore trust in government. The choice is very simple: Do you want more top-down, one-size-fits-all, command and control government from Washington, or responsible, bottoms-up, common sense government from average citizens and local communities?
Please take the time to get organizations to support the petition below by resolution and have them return it to us as soon as possible
*Petition in Support of Grassroots Alternatives* (Send to the National Water and Conservation Alliance at the address below.
The undersigned hereby supports local and regional alternatives to the proposed federal Clean Water Restoration Act, in order to achieve water quality objectives that reflect broad, popular support among people and communities most directly affected by environmental policies and regulations.
Name Organization Address/Contact Information ____________________________________________________________
The National Water and Conservation Alliance needs your support. Please help us with a donation. We are truly a grassroots organization taking on the multi-billion dollar industry known as environmentalism. Send a contribution of $1000, $500, $250, $100, $50, $20, or whatever you can afford. You may donate on line by going to our new website at www.nationalwaterconservation.org or you can send it via mail to:
National Water & Conservation Alliance P.O. Box 65246 Vancouver, WA 98665-0009
We are dedicated to winning this battle, and we sincerely appreciate your support!
Don Parmeter Co-Chair St. Paul, Minnesota (651) 224-6219 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy McDonald Co-Chair Vancouver, Washington (360) 607-8959 email@example.com
If you wish to unsubscribe, reply to this e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If you know of others who would like to receive these alerts, reply with their e-mail addresses.
-----It is critical that you forward this message as widely as possible and hand out copies. Send it to your friends, neighbors and business associates no matter where they live. The Clean Water Restoration Act affects all waters across the whole U.S.
-----By forwarding the message, you can help get millions of copies of this critically important e-mail distributed. Make this a grassroots uprising. Thank you in advance for your help.