Proposed water regulation concerns farmers and more

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 14, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A federal agency's proposed water regulations has some farmers, construction managers, and business owners fuming.

But it's not completely clear how the regulation would be enforced.


Photo by Ben Allen/witf

Rep. Scott Perry and others speak at a press conference Tuesday in Manchester, York County.

The so-called Waters of the U.S. rule could subject thousands of upstream lakes, ponds and wetlands to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it's proposing the new rule to clear up confusion after two Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006.

It also says the changes will streamline permitting.

"Just allowing EPA to have a greater say and issue additional permits and charge additional fines, that won't make the process go any faster," says Dan Leese, a farmer and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau state Board member in Fulton County. 

"That will only slow it down."

Leese says the only reasonable solution is to not go forward with the rule.

"It is clearly an overreach from the congressional authorization of the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court has twice struck down similar, though not as far reaching, extensions."

He says the EPA has already set enough standards, and the state Department of Environmental Protection is already watching water quality across Pennsylvania.

The public comment period closes in mid-July.

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Comments: 2

  • Larry img 2014-05-14 06:16

    These farmers, construction managers, and business owners should have the peace of mind that their families, wives, daughters, and sons will have a great quality of life, standard of living, and clean air, soil, and water.

    The practices and technology exist to make our lives better.

    These business people need to understand that the time of socializing their cost of doing business onto civilization is over.

    The greater cost is to civilization of cheap and poor management is in health care costs, lost productivity, and deaths.

  • Clean Water img 2014-05-14 09:46

    The rule, Waters of the US, is not an overreach nor does it impose any additional protection to our waterways than the 1972 Clean Water Act originally intended. Pennsylvania's rivers and streams from which we derive our drinking water, the water we use in our livlihoods and enjoy during our time off is vastly cleaner because the Clean Water Act has encouraged us to think about how our activities impact clean water and helped drive innovative technology and practice to protect our healthy waterways.

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