Protecting landowners from government overreach
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has reintroduced the Defense of Environment and Property Act and all of us in the agriculture industry need to get behind this legislation. We also need to urge our representatives in the house and senate to back this bill.
This bill aims to prevent the federal government from imposing unreasonable restrictions on landowners.
The Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2021:
•Defines “navigable waters” as “navigable-in-fact, or permanent, standing, or continuously flowing bodies of water that form geographical features commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers, and lakes that are connected to waters that are navigable-in-fact”
•Clarifies the jurisdiction of the EPA and Corps of Engineers
•States that “ground water” is state water and not to be considered in asserting Federal jurisdiction
•Prohibits the use of a “significant nexus test”
•Prohibits the EPA and Corps of Engineers from creating new rules defining “navigable waters” or expanding or interpreting the definition of “navigable waters” unless expressly authorized by Congress.
The Biden administration announced in June that they will formally repeal the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The concern is that Biden will reintroduce the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States rule that had landowners concerned that isolated wetlands and small streams on their property would be subject to expensive rules and regulations.
So lets get busy and make sure that Sen. Paul’s legislation passes before the Biden administration and the Environmental Protection Agency reintroduce WOTUS.
To read the bill, go to https://www.paul.senate.gov/sites/default/files/page-attachments/MAZ21815.pdf.
According to Sen. Paul, “While some would have us believe we can only protect the environment by giving the federal government more control over Americans’ lives, my bill shows we can act while still respecting Americans’ private property rights and the Constitution’s limits on federal power. Kentucky’s farmers and coal industry suffered when the Obama administration implemented its burdensome WOTUS rule. Though the Trump administration replaced that rule, we know the new Biden administration will certainly try to return us to an unworkable scenario again. That’s why it’s now more important than ever to make an actual change to the law to fix the problem, and protect our land and invaluable industries.”
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