Thursday, December 08, 2011

Washington Doesn’t Need
To Regulate Rain

by Jim Petersen - December 6th, 2011 - The Washington Times

If the Supreme Court declines to review it, a recent ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will put federal courts into the business of managing every acre of privately owned timberland in America. Farmers beware. You could be next. In May, the 9th Circuit determined that rainwater draining from forest roads into local streams, rivers and lakes is “point source pollution.” As such, it must be regulated in the same way effluent from sewage-treatment plants is regulated. To make a long story short, rainwater that accumulates alongside logging roads has become a new target of environmental litigators. Several lawsuits were filed within days of the 9th Circuit’s decision.

The court made this determination despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has insisted for 35 years that requiring “point-source” permits is unnecessary to protect the environment and is even harmful.

The irresponsible hunger to regulate other human beings is becoming a virus destroying our freedom. Our despotic courts and our tyrannical regulators have never acknowledged any limit on their need for power over the people of our nation. It has reached an obscene level represented by this new ruling. If rain falls on public or private roads, the runoff is deemed to be toxic and the owner of the road - or conversely the owner of the adjacent land - is presumed to be POLLUTING THE ENVIRONMENT.

The writer expects that if the Supreme Court gets involved in this ruling that it will be struck down. My fear is that they will embrace the totalitarian power it will represent and rule that the control can continue. As noted in the article, it is hard to justify that rain on a road beside forest lands is toxic but not toxic if it rains beside farmland. Therefore it is almost inevitable that the ruling will be expanded to farmers.

At that point, our federal government and its courts will have the power to require any road with ditches to be eliminated anywhere in our nation. No culverts will be allowed without a federal bureaucrat's approval. If any large shower creates a new runoff path the landowner will have to apply for a new permit. If a puddle forms anywhere due to any change in rain patterns, the federal government can require the abandonment of that land, or conversely, at the whim of a regulator, spending money to force the water back into prior paths. This is true even it if simply changes due to growth of vegetation, the most common cause of runoff changes.

Farmers and forestry owners will become paranoid at planting any crop, for fear it will be ruled illegal and they be punished under the premise that they are causing toxic runoff through "point source pollution". Welcome to Utopia as Democrats see it.


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