Wednesday, December 14, 2011

EPA wants to control every culvert of rain flow

We can't make this up. Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gotten desperate in trying to stop industry in the US. Now they claim that rain runoff is a point-source of industrial waste.
If an industrial pollutant covers the ground in an area the rain runoff will be polluted. Agreed. But the source is the industrial plant. Obama's big thinkers propose that every culvert the runoff goes through be considered a point source of the pollution. So? It would allow Obama to require paperwork and hearings for EVERY culvert the flow goes though

Why is Obama doing this? Because it would give him more control - over every culvert. Can you think of another Obama motivation for nonsense like this?

Powerline Blog

We have written repeatedly about the EPA’s war on energy and, more generally, on economic growth. But a case that may soon make its way to the Supreme Court is, critics argue, even more extreme than anything mandated by the Agency. The case is Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. et al. v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, reversing more than 35 years of practice and statutory interpretation, that runoff of rain water from forest roads that passes through one or more pipes or culverts constitutes point source pollution that must be permitted through the EPA’s NPDES program. 640 F.3d 1063. If this ruling is upheld, the EPA will be charged with regulating the runoff of uncontaminated rain water from vast areas of public and private land. It is not clear how many permits would need to be applied for and issued, but the number may be in the millions.

The defendants in the original action have now petitioned for certiorari in the Supreme Court, and the court’s response to that petition is expected tomorrow. SCOTUS Blog lists the case as one of the “Petitions We’re Watching,” and you can read the 9th Circuit’s opinion and the petition for certiorari here. The petition states the issue presented as follows:
Since the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has considered runoff of rain from forest roads–whether channeled or not–to fall outside the scope of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) and thus not to require a permit as a point source discharge of pollutants. Under a rule first promulgated in 1976, EPA has consistently defined as nonpoint source activities forest road construction and maintenance from which natural runoff results. And in regulating storm water discharges under 1987 amendments to the Act, EPA again expressly excluded runoff from forest roads. In consequence, forest road runoff long has been regulated as a nonpoint source using best management practices, like those imposed by the State of Oregon on the roads at issue here. EPA’s consistent interpretation of more than 35 years has survived proposed regulatory revision and legal challenge, and repeatedly has been endorsed by the United States in briefs and agency publications.
The 9th Circuit decision conflicts with a ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Newton County Wildlife Association v. Rogers, 141 F.3d 803. In a decision written by my former partner Jim Loken, the 8th Circuit held that the claim that “culverts and other discrete sources and conveyances” of runoff associated with logging roads constitute point sources of pollution was “without merit.” Twenty-six states have joined with the petitioners in asking the Supreme Court to take the case and overturn the 9th Circuit decision.

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