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EPA grab for wetlands

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In a move to expand its rule over property, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proposed a change to the Clean Water Act that would allow EPA regulation over land temporarily wet with rainwater including seasonal streams, ditches, and ponds on private property.

In what has been called an EPA land grab by Fox News, the move would extend government control of lands that temporarily handle some of the nation’s waters. That was the rationale applied in proposing permanent rule over temporarily wet lands, thus extending government control over private property even when it’s dry.

Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) described the move with its true significance.

The...rule may be one of [EPA’s] most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.

The EPA moves in ways that speak less of protecting the environment than expanding government control. Wetlands on private property currently withstand scrutiny by the Army Corps of Engineers in the name of conservation so that structures or buildings are not constructed on such lands. The proposal would give EPA control beyond conservation of such lands, even on privately owned property, thus absolving owners of legal rights to their own land.

With its hand on such lands, it won't be far for the EPA to declare control over any land that gets wet or is rained upon, thus opening the government's grasp on any non-desert acreage it does not already own.

On the rule of law and the rights of property rests the foundation of the success of a free society in the United States. The latter is about to be rescinded by the EPA, representing veritable land theft by government and one more citizens' rights removed.

Newt Gingrich had it right when he proposed ridding the nation of that egregious agency.

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