The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to expand the scope of "navigable waters" subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction was drafted, according to the agency, to reduce uncertainty. And that it does. It’s very clear the proposed rule is designed to allow the federal government to regulate every place water flows when it rains, including small and remote "waters" and ephemeral drains and ditches.
We all know that water flows downhill and that at some point some of that water eventually finds its way into a creek, stream or river. Yet, based on nothing more than the flow of rainwater along a natural pathway across the land, the EPA wants to call vast areas of otherwise dry land "tributaries" and therefore "navigable waters."
Farmers out to dry
With its proposal to regulate land that is...