Archive for the ‘Water Issues’ Category

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kinder
to host a town hall meeting on proposed state park

Public, Governor Nixon invited to session at West Plains Civic Center

JEFFERSON CITY – Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder will conduct a “Town Hall Meeting” at the West Plains Civic Center on Monday, October 26. The meeting will be an opportunity for interested citizens to provide input about the state’s plan to purchase land along the Eleven Point River for a new state park in neighboring Oregon County.

The proposed acquisition of the Frederick Creek Ranch is part of the “Southeast Missouri Regional Restoration Plan,” a project administered by state and federal conservation agencies. The plan is the result of a settlement requiring mining companies to provide compensation for past environmental contamination.

Lieutenant Governor Kinder called this meeting in response to concerns from area residents and officials that they have had insufficient opportunity for input on this major project involving the transfer of 2,463 acres of private land to the state’s control.

“Citizens in the Oregon County area have legitimate questions about this proposal. We hope to give all interested parties an outlet to voice their concerns, and I also invite Governor Nixon to join me at this event,” Kinder said.

 

WHO: Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder

 

WHAT: Town Hall Meeting on the proposed Frederick Creek Ranch land acquisition

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

  • 2:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26
    West Plains Civic Center (west side of building)
    110 St. Louis Street

West Plains

 

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The Mountain Grove PRC will be having their meeting on Thursday, September 24th from 6-8pm at Sunnyside Restaurant on the north side of the Wal-Mart parking lot in Mountain Grove.

Bob Parker will be leading the meeting and topics will include the following:

•Suspension of the onerous water rule

•Real ID and Missouri licenses

• Legislative issues

• Updates on Oregon County’s property tax hike, and the DNR potential land takeover there

….And more!

Please come early and enjoy a meal from the Sunnyside menu or buffet before the meeting!

Maybe this can get tangled up in courts for a few years and not be implemented at all.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Water Rule

A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect.

Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.

The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways like streams and wetlands.

But the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned, arguing that the Thursday decision only applies to the 13 states that requested the injunction.

“Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act,” Erickson wrote in his order.

“While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65 percent. Immediately upon the rule taking effect, the rule will irreparably diminish the states’ power over their waters,” he continued, calling the Obama administration’s interpretation of its jurisdiction “exceptionally expansive.”

The states and the federal government argued over how to judge the likelihood opponents of the rule would win their case. But Erickson decided that the regulation is not “likely” to stand up to full court consideration.

In a statement shortly after the ruling, the EPA was defiant and said that the injunction only applies in the thirteen states that filed for it: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said in the statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”

The EPA’s interpretation appears to conflict with responses from most stakeholders, lawmakers and others.

The water rule quickly became one of the most controversial regulations from Obama’s EPA, opposed by most states and many business, agriculture and development interests, among others.

They argue that the regulation greatly expands the federal government’s authority over water and land.

The Obama administration says the rule is necessary to protect small waterways from pollution or harm, as called for under the Clean Water Act.

As a preliminary injunction, Erickson’s ruling is designed only to last as long as the litigation persists, and can be overturned.

The 13 states, led by North Dakota, are participating in just one of 10 lawsuits against the water rule. In total, 29 states, along with business interests representing energy, developers, farmers and others are suing.

The cases have been consolidated into one lawsuit at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, but Erickson argued that he could still issue his injunction. Multiple litigants had requested injunctions in their lawsuits, and most had been dismissed and deferred to the Sixth Circuit.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in West Virginia declined to block the rule. Shortly after Erickson’s decision in North Dakota, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia also declined a plea from 11 states to block the rule, saying she lacked jurisdiction.

Congressional Republicans and their allies applauded the injunction.

“The judge’s decision to block the rule — which was challenged by 13 states — is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month,” said Julia Slingsby, spokeswoman for House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). “The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.”

“A federal court threw a giant wrench into the EPA and Army Corps’ plan to radically expand their power,” said Dan Danner, head of the National Federation for Independent Businesses, which filed one of the lawsuits.

“The agencies ignored the impact of their actions on small business and ignored prior Supreme Court decisions.”

The League of Conservation Voters sharply criticized the decision.

“This is a terrible decision for the 1 in 3 Americans who have already been waiting too long for these vital protections for their drinking water,” said Madeleine Foote, the group’s legislative representative.

“The District Court for North Dakota’s decision puts the interests of big polluters over people in need of clean water,” she said.

This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.

 

Read the judge’s ruling below:

Federal judge blocks Obama’s water rule

A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect.

Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.

The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways like streams and wetlands.

But the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned, arguing that the Thursday decision only applies to the 13 states that requested the injunction.

“Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act,” Erickson wrote in his order.

“While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65 percent. Immediately upon the rule taking effect, the rule will irreparably diminish the states’ power over their waters,” he continued, calling the Obama administration’s interpretation of its jurisdiction “exceptionally expansive.”

The states and the federal government argued over how to judge the likelihood opponents of the rule would win their case. But Erickson decided that the regulation is not “likely” to stand up to full court consideration.

In a statement shortly after the ruling, the EPA was defiant and said that the injunction only applies in the thirteen states that filed for it: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said in the statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”

The EPA’s interpretation appears to conflict with responses from most stakeholders, lawmakers and others.

The water rule quickly became one of the most controversial regulations from Obama’s EPA, opposed by most states and many business, agriculture and development interests, among others.

They argue that the regulation greatly expands the federal government’s authority over water and land.

The Obama administration says the rule is necessary to protect small waterways from pollution or harm, as called for under the Clean Water Act.

As a preliminary injunction, Erickson’s ruling is designed only to last as long as the litigation persists, and can be overturned.

The 13 states, led by North Dakota, are participating in just one of 10 lawsuits against the water rule. In total, 29 states, along with business interests representing energy, developers, farmers and others are suing.

The cases have been consolidated into one lawsuit at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, but Erickson argued that he could still issue his injunction. Multiple litigants had requested injunctions in their lawsuits, and most had been dismissed and deferred to the Sixth Circuit.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in West Virginia declined to block the rule. Shortly after Erickson’s decision in North Dakota, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia also declined a plea from 11 states to block the rule, saying she lacked jurisdiction.

Congressional Republicans and their allies applauded the injunction.

“The judge’s decision to block the rule — which was challenged by 13 states — is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month,” said Julia Slingsby, spokeswoman for House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). “The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.”

“A federal court threw a giant wrench into the EPA and Army Corps’ plan to radically expand their power,” said Dan Danner, head of the National Federation for Independent Businesses, which filed one of the lawsuits.

“The agencies ignored the impact of their actions on small business and ignored prior Supreme Court decisions.”

The League of Conservation Voters sharply criticized the decision.

“This is a terrible decision for the 1 in 3 Americans who have already been waiting too long for these vital protections for their drinking water,” said Madeleine Foote, the group’s legislative representative.

“The District Court for North Dakota’s decision puts the interests of big polluters over people in need of clean water,” she said.

This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.

 

Read the judge’s ruling below:

Federal judge blocks Obama’s water rule

I heard yesterday that Peter Kinder has indeed thrown his hat in the ring for Missouri Governor. Over a year ago, he and I had a conversation about it, and I told him that I would indeed support him for that position. Speaking for myself, Doreen Hannes, I am wholeheartedly in support of Peter Kinder for Governor. He has done a superb job of stepping up to protect the rights of Missourian’s and has proven that, while he is not a perfect person, he will do the right thing for the citizens of Missouri over and over again. That, my friends, is a rare thing.

In the current climate, the position which holds the best possible promise of right action is the Executive branch. Kinder has demonstrated that he understands the duty that comes with high level elected positions and that he will do the right thing in support of our rights and in defense of principles of freedom and self determination. I cannot think of a better person to be at the helm for Missourians at this time.

Dana Loesch wrote the following piece in support of Kinder for Governor. She gives a lot of background and says it quite well. The link to the article is in the title.

Why I’m Supporting Peter Kinder For Missouri Governor

I’m a fan of people who had the people’s back before they needed the people’s vote.

I’ve been in politics long enough to know that politicians get George Thorogood-landlady lovey dovey when there is a race they need to win. They appear out of the ether at grassroots rallies, they’re suddenly on the airwaves talking about issues that predate their advocacy but not their immeasurable concern. They’ll leverage anything they have to add a dimension to their personality.

Kinder3

In the modern era of politics there is B.T. and A.T., or, before tea party and after tea party. B.T. was a difficult time for pols as most were too afraid to legitimize the concerns of millions of Americans. The sort of limited government they espoused threatened to erode the influence special interests cosmetically extended to them. Some pols were quiet. Some were downright hostile towards grassroots. Some offered support in exchange for using the grassroot momentum to boost their own chances. Some said to hell with grassroots and co-opted entire groups in attempts to capture elected office. I’ve witnessed every scenario, even the rare occurrence of someone who has the fortitude of character and shares the interests of the electorate. I’m witnessing it in my homestate of Missouri, where I was born and raised, and lived until just a year ago, where I return to as often as I can to see family that, somewhat facetiously, populate most of the Ozarks.

Peter Kinder is Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor and the best conservative hope for the governor’s office.

Kinder5

Of all the candidates, only one has a proven conservative record and a documented track record of having grassroots’s back every single time. Kinder is the only candidate in the Missouri governor’s race that has been the most constant, vocal supporter of the tea party movement (I say this as a founder of the movement in St. Louis), yet never once has he ever demanded favors or campaign support in return as some Missouri pols have done. He was the first to file suit against Obamacare. He is the only candidate in the race that rang the alarm over DOR and DHS’s secret attempt to push Missourians into a backdoor firearm registry. He was made aware of the case by Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver and Kinder promptly pushed the MO GOP into action, noted Oliver on my radio program. Kinder helped publicize the case of the DOR saving biometric data against state law. Kinder is the only gubernatorial candidate that took Eric Holder’s DOJ to task for playing St. Louis by refusing to release the findings of their investigation last year. He fielded calls from helpless mayors who went ignored by Missouri’s Governor as their cities burned in the Ferguson riots. Kinder challenged the Missouri Governor for holding back the National Guard. He is also the only one on record who personally responded and visited Ferguson in an attempt to stand in for the absence of the Missouri Governor and various elected congressional officials. Kinder blasted the establishment in his own party when they began wobbling on Prop E. Kinder is staunchly against Common Core, is solidly pro-2A, is pro-life, and advocates for the tenets that motivate limited-government supporters.

I don’t need to criticize the other names in the gubernatorial race as Kinder’s record speaks for itself. In my entire political life, I have endorsed but maybe five or six candidates. I am not a fan of politicians. The last eight years has made me nearly hate the entire lot of them with a tiny few exceptions. I am not a fan of party mentality or going along to get along. I’m not a fan of panderers. I am a fan of people who keep their word and politicians who don’t use their influence to co-opt. I’m a fan of knowing where candidates come from beyond vague campaign platitudes and hazy political associations from a decade ago. I’m a fan of people who can keep it real in southern and western Missouri just as much as they can in a municipality north of St. Louis.

I’m a fan of people who had the people’s back before they needed the people’s vote.

This is why I’m proud to endorse Peter Kinder in the Missouri Republican primary.

*All photos courtesy JDWilson

Wonders never cease. Missouri AG joined a suit against the EPA’s power expanding definition re-write. Article below with link to the original in the title:

Koster sues EPA over new “waters” rule

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Attorney General Chris Koster has waded into a debate about the federal definition of “waterways” and he isn’t the only Missourian weighing in.

Koster has signed Missouri onto a lawsuit with 12 other states against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers over the agencies’ rule defining “waters of the United States.” Koster’s office says the new rule expands the scope of clean water regulations to lands without much water at all, and increases the federal government’s authority to “control land use in Missouri.”

“The EPA and the Army Corps have exceeded their legal authority in defining what constitutes U.S. waterways,” Koster said in a statement.  “If this change becomes law, thousands of acres of privately owned land in Missouri will suddenly be subject to federal water regulation.  Missouri farmers will be particularly harmed by the federal government’s restrictions on how their land can be used.”

Koster says the agencies’ official definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) extends their authority to include “ponds, streams that flow only briefly during or after rainstorms, and channels that are usually dry.” The definition also expands to floodpains, even if the plains are dry 99 years out of 100, Koster says.

The lawsuit is filed in United States District Court for the District of North Dakota and “seeks an order declaring the rule is unlawful and prohibiting the agencies from implementing it.” The rule takes effect in 60 days with no such court order.

Blake Hurst, President of the Missouri farm Bureau, publicly applauded Koster’s suit.

“We applaud Attorney General Koster for filing this lawsuit against EPA and hope the courts will act quickly to halt implementation of the WOTUS rule as the issue works its way through the legal system.  The EPA is guilty of a massive overreach, and we fully expect the courts will once again instruct the EPA to follow the intent of Congress.”

Congressman Jason Smith, R-MO8, has also focused his attention on the WOTUS issue. Last April, Smith added language to HR 2028 to keep the EPA from using any funds to implement the new rule. The bill passed the House, along with another piece of legislation in May with a similar prohibition on the rule.

“The administration is telling us that this rule won’t affect property owners and farmers, and that’s an absolute lie,” Smith said in a statement. “The Obama administration has misled the American people too many times to get the benefit of the doubt on something this important.”

Here is a link to a pdf that gives a very good explanation of several areas of concern with the EPA’s self-expanding Waters of the United States rule. For those who want some more background and some solid problems to familiarize themselves with on the topic, this is a helpful paper.

Our thanks to the author, Daren Bakst and http://www.heritage.org for their work!

‘Unprecedented Land Grab’: ‘I Will Not Allow It’

A new regulation has set up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seize control of even the smallest body of water on private land, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says he “will not allow it.”Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works (EPW), warns that the EPA’s final rule on the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) represents an “unprecedented land grab” of private property – and he won’t stand for it:

“This makes it more important than ever for Congress to act.  Last month, I stood with a bipartisan group of Senators to unveil S. 1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, to rein in EPA’s attempt to use the Clean Water Act to expand federal control over land and water.  Sen. Dan Sullivan, Chairman of the Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife Subcommittee, held a legislative hearing on the bill last week that underscored the importance of keeping the focus of the Clean Water Act on clean water and called out EPA’s attempt to use the rule as a tool for habitat protection. The EPA has set themselves up to increase federal control over private lands, and I will not allow it. 

“Our committee is planning for a markup on S. 1140 this summer, as we continue our work to halt EPA’s unprecedented land grab and refocus its job on protecting traditional navigable waters from pollution.”

Likewise, Oklahoma’s Attorney General Scott Pruitt vows to use “all available legal options” to stop the “egregious power grab by the EPA to expand its regulatory reach”

“This is an egregious power grab by the EPA and an attempt to reach beyond the scope granted to it by Congress. This rule renders the smallest of streams and farm ponds subject to EPA jurisdiction. This means that the first stop for property owners is the EPA, which may deem the property owners’ waters subject to the EPA’s unpredictable and costly regulatory regime. It would be a terrible blow to the private property rights of Americans. The rule also displaces states from their historic regulatory role under the Clean Water Act. My office will pursue all available legal options to defend the interests of the state and all Oklahoma property owners.”

Under the final rule, EPA has decided that it can regulate isolated wetlands and ponds in farmer’s fields by designating them “regional treasures.”