Proposed Federal Regulation to Expand EPA Control Over Private Landowners

Date: May 18, 2014

April showers bring May flowers…and also a few unwelcome guests from the federal government to control your private property! The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers just proposed a regulation in April that will expand its power under the Clean Water Act to regulate “navigable waters,” even those on private property. The EPA failed twice to get this proposal approved by Congress. Now they are attempting to enact this egregious rule by executive fiat.

The EPA will have authority over water just about anywhere! 

From farm ponds to irrigation ditches, from car washes to construction sites, from manufacturing plants to even a puddle. 

By claiming that it should regulate any water that ultimately flows into “navigable waters” the EPA would be able to regulate even private land with a ditch or hole that collects water for as little as a few days a year.

If land is defined as a wetland, or has another significant connection to downstream water quality, the owner must get a permit from EPA/ACE in order to do any kind of development or alteration to that parcel. As of a decade ago, the average cost of a Clean Water Act permit was more than $270,000.

Landowners who violate the new rule face STIFF penalties!

Altering land without a permit can lead to fines up to $37,500 PER DAY!

The EPA violated federal law!

The EPA blatantly bypassed critical analysis of the financial impact of this rule on small business!  It used an incomplete and dubious scientific study to arrive at its conclusions.  The costs of compliance or loss of private property rights could be staggering.

The EPA is giving the public only 90 days to offer public comment!

During the height of the growing season and construction season, the EPA is only giving 90 days for public comments. Many regulations allow for 180 days for public comment.

Join NFIB to help stop this egregious regulatory overreach!

NFIB plans to vehemently protest this regulation during the comment period which ends July 1. We are helping all our members file comments.  NFIB may also sue in federal court if the regulation is approved! To learn more visit


Related Content: NFIB in My State | State | Pennsylvania

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