Just when you thought Washington had reached its limits comes a new dispute that has Virginia officials fearing they’ll have to confiscate private property and spend half a billion dollars to make the Environmental Protection Agency happy.
It seems that the EPA has determined there’s too much water in one creek and that state and local Fairfax County officials must do something to prevent that from happening.
A court hearing recently focused on the fact that the EPA is demanding local officials keep some of the water out of Accotink Creek, which drains into the Potomac. A decision is expected soon.
But the scenario was too much for the editorial page editors at the Washington Times, who wrote, “The agency has established a set of limits for the amount of water that can flow into Accotink Creek, which runs through Fairfax County and drains into the Potomac. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the county are on the hook for storm water that falls from the sky onto county and city roads. This water then flows into storm drains that empty into the creek. EPA hypothesizes that heavy water flows stir up ‘sediment,’ which does fall under the Clean Water Act’s definitions. Instead of going after sediment levels directly, however, EPA has declared it can go ahead and directly target water-flow levels, which [Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli says goes too far in pushing the jurisdictional envelope.”
He wrote, “They [the EPA] basically want to stop water from flowing but most worrisome is that the EPA can just hand down a regulation and force the state to buy up private property for new water facilities and it might not even work, meaning more costs in the future.”
He continued, “Wait, doesn’t the EPA instead make demands when pollutants go into water? They control how much water nature produces now too?”
He explained that the genesis of the strategy that’s odd even by Washington standards was another lawsuit over the sediment in the creek, where the EPA simply established a timeline for the state and county to act – even though the state and county did not have access to the lawsuit.
The result is that the EPA is claiming the water in the creek now is itself a pollutant.
“The EPA has declared water, the substance the Clean Water Act was created to protect, a pollutant – and it is getting the federal government dragged into court,” Campbell wrote. “They are requiring Fairfax County, Va., to artificially control the flow of water in Accotink Creek watershed because that is their solution to managing sediment; too much water is a pollution problem, they claim, and it needs to be fixed.”
State and county officials filed the lawsuit against the EPA last summer over what has been described in the arguments as the overreach of the federal government.
Commented the Washington Times, “The environmental movement has gone off the deep end. It’s bad enough that the courts have allowed the Environmental Protection Agenda to declare carbon dioxide, one of the essential components of life on this planet, to be a pollutant. Now the same bureaucratic zealots are going after water itself.”
The editorial board wrote that the EPA maneuver was “a classic example of how Washington agencies constantly expand their purpose. Congress first adopts legislation bearing a title nobody could reasonably oppose — who’s against clean water? Over time, the courts and bureaucrats systematically extend the meaning of formerly innocuous definitions. Now instead of keeping lead out of drinking water, the agency is keeping water out of creeks.”
WND reported in 2007 that the Food and Drug Administration determined that vitamins, supplements, herbs and other natural substances, including water when it is used to “treat” dehydration should be classified as drugs.
The proposal came in that year’s “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration” report.
Citizens groups immediately protested the concept that bottled water when used to “treat” thirst or dehydration would be regulated as a drug.
One sarcastic critic noted that massage therapists actually use hot rocks on occasion as part of their therapies, and said, “The FDA will actually look at a pile of rocks and declare, ‘Those are medical devices.’”