Congressman Tom Reed today voted in favor of protecting private property rights by supporting 2016 Energy and Water Development Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2028). The bill passed the House with language preventing the Obama Administration from a power grab of private property relative to waterway regulation. “This bill is a victory for Americans from coast to coast and demonstrates that the House cares about protecting private property rights,” Reed said. “I will continue to work as Chair of the Private Property Rights Caucus to ensure that the rights of property owners are defended.”
So the “House cares about protecting private property rights, but what about the environment? What is in this bill?
That the Corps of Engineers might adopt new regulations? No way! Current regulations are bad enough, some may think.
104. None of the funds made available in this or any other Act making appropriations for Energy and Water Development for any fiscal year may be used by the Corps of Engineers to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce any change to the regulations in effect on October 1, 2012, pertaining to the definitions of the terms fill material or discharge of fill material for the purposes of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).
That the Corps. of Engineers might protect additional waterways? Unthinkable!
105. None of the funds made available in this or any other Act making appropriations for Energy and Water Development for any fiscal year may be used by the Corps of Engineers to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce any change to the regulations and guidance in effect on October 1, 2012, pertaining to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), including the provisions of the rules dated November 13, 1986, and August 25, 1993, relating to such jurisdiction, and the guidance documents dated January 15, 2003, and December 2, 2008, relating to such jurisdiction.
A permit to dump dredged material might be required? Horrors!
106. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to require a permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.) for the activities identified in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 404(f)(1) of the Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(f)(1)(A), (C)).
Finally, this astonishing prohibition:
107. As of the date of enactment of this Act and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary of the Army shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm, including an assembled or functional firearm, at a water resources development project covered under section 327.0 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act), if—
(1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and
(2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the water resources development project is located.
Does Congress wish to promote armed confrontations between government employees and landowners? Really?
Ted Cruz reportedly worries that the Obama Administration plans to declare martial law in Texas. Compared to that, paranoia concerning water quality regulations seem almost reasonable.
© William Hungerford – May 2015