THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE: Editorial: EPA rules on water are ridiculous overreach on landowners

Last December, the Trump administration presented a proposal to pull back many of the EPA’s cumbersome rules – among them, the Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, regulations. Those are rules regarding “navigable waters” that basically tell Americans what they can do with sometimes even the tiniest sprinkling of water on their property.

Under EPA rules set forth by President Obama in 2015, federal protection is extended, for example, to any stream created just by intermittent rainfall, or “wetlands” that really are no more than patches of soggy dirt.

“Putting WOTUS in rough terms,” wrote Burt Rutherford, an editor for the agriculture trade magazine BEEF, “the rule means that if a duck thinks it can land on it, any puddle is considered navigable and falls under jurisdiction of the federal government.”

A stretch? Not by much. Do those rules sound like they make even the tiniest bit of sense?

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