EPA Proposes Expanding Clean Water Act Jurisdiction
NCBA Environmental Counsel Ashley McDonald discuss the potential impact of this proposed expansion.
McDonald: "So we're looking at defining pastures as wetlands and everything in a flood plain as waters of the United States."
McDonald adds that it is taking Clean Water Act enforcement out of states' hands and moving it to the federal level.
McDonald: "The Supreme Court has said that it has to have a significant nexus to navigable waters to be jurisdictional. Of course here the EPA has basically said that everything has a nexus and everything is going to be jurisdictional which clearly shows they believe there is no limit to federal jurisdiction. It also upsets the federalism principle that underpins the Clean Water Act itself. The states are suppose to be the primary enforcers and implementers of the Clean Water Act. This takes all authority away from the states and makes all waters federal and therefore puts it under federal jurisdiction."