In the most recent development in the saga over the Environmental Protection Agency-proposed Waters of the United States rule, a U.S. Appeals Court has temporarily blocked the implementation of the rule nationwide. Previously, a federal judge in North Dakota prevented implementation in 13 states until a court could determine whether the proposed regulation was legal. The rule would have placed 3% more waterways in the United States under federal jurisdiction.
While that does not sound like a huge increase, it’s the type of waterways that would now be included that is problematic. Almost everything but puddles would be under the EPA’s rules. For example, the new rule would require a federal permit to use the waters or could prevent access completely. The required federal permits come with major red tape and cost. Most states viewed this as a huge (and costly) overreach.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman was one of the attorneys general leading the charge against the EPA’s overreach, as was Republican U.S. Senator Gardner who said this following the Cincinnati-based court’s ruling:
“This ruling is a victory for agriculture, rural communities, and all Coloradans. The EPA’s WOTUS rule represents a massive federal takeover of what had traditionally been state and local efforts to carefully regulate our own water.
The rule would put the federal government in Washington in charge of ponds and streams in Colorado communities from Greeley to Alamosa.
I’ve consistently opposed this power grab by the EPA, and am glad to see it halted nationwide. I’ll continue to press for state and local control of our water, and against federal efforts to micromanage Colorado’s water from Washington.”
With the recent pollution caused by the EPA in Colorado’s waters due to attempts to clean up mining spills, Colorado is probably better off managing its own waterways.