During the administration of Barack Obama the Environmental Protection Agency grew and was given broader power to fine or regulate private citizens, especially farmers and land developers, who fail to abide by their strict (and often unreasonable) guidelines.
Under Obama’s “Clean Water Act”, the EPA was given authority over virtually any body of water on a citizen’s property, no matter how small or insignificant. The name of the order sounds good, after all who doesn’t want clean water, but the results turned out to be much more insidious. As an example, in 2014 a welder in Wyoming faced fines of $75,000 per day for simply building a small pond on his land, without going through the burdensome and costly regulatory process demanded by the EPA.
During his campaign last year Donald Trump promised to address the overreach and suffocating authority that the EPA was given if he were to be elected. That time has come, as this week Trump signed an executive order to start the process of rolling back the “Clean Water Act” and relieve the stress it puts on home owners, farmers and developers.
“We’re going to free up our country and it’s going to be done in a very environmental and positive environmental way…Create millions of jobs, so many jobs are delayed for so many years that’s it unfair to everybody”, Trump said as he opened his announcement.
Trump continues by talking about some of the most harmful federal regulations under the EPA, and describes their organization as running amok and a “disaster”.
“EPA’s so-called Orders of the United States rules is one of the worst examples of federal regulation that has truly run amok. It is one of the rules that is most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural is prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they’re suppose to be doing, it’s been a disaster.”
The order gives the EPA power to regulate waters that they consider “navigable”, or bodies that effect interstate commerce. The problem is, the EPA decided that any small puddle, pond or spring can be considered “navigable water”. This led to a “massive power grab” under the guise of regulations and permits that builders and farmers had to abide by. Simply filling in a puddle on a farmer’s land requires permits, or even digging a small watering hole could be a regulation disaster.
Trump mentions how the EPA fined a farmer a staggering $37,000 a day for digging a small watering hole for his cattle to drink from, an example he also used during his campaign rallies to illustrate how out of control the EPA had become with their authority under Obama.
“[The EPA] has sort of a nice name, but everything else is bad”, Trump said as the crowd chuckled. “With today’s executive order, I’m directing the EPA to take action paving the way for the elimination for this very destructive and horrible rule.”
With this executive order signed by President Trump, farmers and private citizens can finally gain relief from the fear of a body of water appearing on their property, which the EPA would promptly move in to regulate. Farmers can once gain provide water to the cattle, home developers can reduce costs and more jobs as a result will be created.
President Trump, yet another promise kept.