Thankfully someone got a good email out about this issue! Please read and familiarize yourself with this. It will affect all landowners:
The EPA is trying to extend the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act! Our comments are needed to let regulators know that we’re paying attention to what they’re doing in Washington. Please, take a few minutes to learn about the EPA Water Body Connectivity Report and to submit a comment. To make this as quick and easy as possible, we’ve provided you with an Action Template below. You can get this done in three easy steps: 1. Learn 2. Comment 3. Share.
If you’re already familiar with the EPA Water Body Connectivity Report, go HERE to brush up on the issue and submit your comment. For the rest of us, here’s the information we will need.
1. Learn: What is the EPA Water Body Connectivity Report? Why is it important to us?
The Water Body Connectivity Report (the Report) ( FULL VERSION HERE) is a commissioned report to provide analysis of and to synthesize the scientific evidence surrounding connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream water bodies. In summary, this is a study to call out the inter-connectivity of water bodies. From ponds, puddles, lakes, streams to oceans, this study holds the potential to give the EPA the jurisdiction to control water bodies that it currently does not regulate. This could include wetlands on state owned and private lands (because the water is interconnected with downstream water bodies). The report is over 300-pages long and has 1,000-citations (which are not linked in the report in accordance to President Obama’s Executive Order #13642, the “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information”).
Dovetailing concerns expressed in a letter to the EPA from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Citizens for Balanced Use is concerned that this report could influence future regulatory changes and Clean Water Act interpretation. The report could significantly expand the assertion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over remote waters and wetlands that Congress did not intend to be covered by the Clean Water Act.
The Report, as it stands, only references Montana water bodies in three instances (Gallatin, Powder River Basin and the Clarkfork). Montana has numerous water bodies that this report does not adequately observe in determining the current management processes at the state and local levels. Citizens for Balanced Use is unwilling to accept that the results of this initial Report are adequate enough to determine the future regulatory data that will set new rule making parameters for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to manage water bodies that the Report did not study.
2. Comment: Your Comment is CRITICAL to Stopping or Slowing the Overreach of the EPA through this Report.
Please, write your own comment by following this LINK to an online commenting portal. Click on the “Comment Now!” button in the right hand corner of the page. COPY and PASTE the follow example if you want a jump-start on your comment. Be sure to include your own NAME, CITY and E-MAIL at the bottom of your comment.
Dear Dr. Armitage:
I am writing as a concerned citizen regarding the draft report: “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.” I appreciate this opportunity to provide you with my feedback as this report will have a significant adverse impact on state and local water bodies near my place of residence.
I would first request that the commenting period for this report be extended by at least 90-days to allow adequate review by Montanans and other states that will be heavily impacted by the results of this report.
I am concerned that this draft report does not consider the broad impact that the extending of Clean Water Act jurisdiction will have on Montana water bodies and state and private owned wetlands. This report only references three water bodies in the state of Montana, which are not appropriately representative of the entire state of Montana. I recommend that the report consider an adequate number of studies for each of the 50-states that the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers seeks to extend jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act before considering any report valid enough to be used as regulatory data that can be used to set rule making parameters for the EPA or Army Corps of Engineers.
I do not support the abuse or extension of the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act beyond that jurisdiction explicitly given by Congress. Using a report to extend jurisdiction beyond the intended jurisdiction is not appropriate behavior for a federal agency. Any language or terminology that is inappropriately used to misrepresent or manipulate data should be removed from this report. Areas of initial concern for this manipulation (also referenced by the Pacific Legal Foundation) are the definition of wetlands, classifying of wetlands, depiction of isolated wetlands and the validity of the discussion of groundwater for the purposes of this report.
Again, I thank you for this opportunity to comment on this report. I ask that you extend the commenting period for at least 90-days to allow for robust and thorough review of this report.
CONTACT (e-mail or phone)
3. Share it
Now it is important that we share this e-mail and let our family and friends know that they need to submit a comment on this by November 6th. Use your social media accounts or click the “Forward” button below to send this to your contacts.
Please, let us know if we can help you submit a comment. This is an important issue and CBU members should have our voices heard.
Citizens for Balanced Use | P.O. Box 606 | Gallatin Gateway | MT | 59730