Shuster Slams President Obama for Efforts to Regulate Water on Private Property

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Representative Bill Shuster (R-Hollidaysburg) made a statement yesterday strongly condemning President Obama’s latest effort to dramatically increase federal regulatory authority over bodies of water in the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has the authority to govern “navigable waterways,” a distinction originally designed to exempt smaller bodies of water such as wetlands and backyard ponds. The Obama Administration now seeks to expand that definition to include a range of new areas, including small ponds, creeks, and other water found on private property.

“The last thing people need is for the EPA to come knocking on their doors telling them their ponds are too dirty or their puddles are too muddy,” said Rep. Shuster. “It violates our personal freedoms, and puts an unnecessary burden on both families and businesses alike. This is a massive power grab by the government, and would give the EPA regulatory power over nearly every body of water in America. We should not allow that to happen.”

Rep. Shuster recently joined with his colleague, Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), to send a letter to President Obama voicing his strong concern with this increase in the scope of federal power. Similar efforts to regulate small water bodies during the 110th and 111th Congresses failed due to significant opposition that extended across the aisle.

“Time and time again this president has demonstrated his disregard for the balance of powers that our founders laid out. This would be an almost unprecedented increase of EPA authority, with no clear limits set to protect property owners. It is part of a disturbing trend in an imperial presidency that seeks to ignore congress and force Obama’s reckless agenda into law. We do not need this expansion of government into our lives, and I hope President Obama will immediately reconsider this misguided new rule.”

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