To limit the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) oversight, we encourage reaffirmation and support of Justice Scalia’s 2006 U.S. Supreme Court definition of “Waters of the United States” in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715: “relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water…not…channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall.”
We oppose changing the wording, meaning or definition of navigable waters in the Clean Water Act (CWA), the removal of the term "navigable waters" from the CWA, and any attempt to broaden the reach of the CWA. Federal CWA jurisdiction and the EPA’s power should be limited to navigable streams and flowing waterways with continuous flow 365 days a year.
The EPA has already tried to expand its oversight to include “temporary” waterways, which include areas as small as wet spots in fields and puddles in driveways. Under no circumstance should temporary waterways or any agricultural drain be considered a water of the United States. We urge the EPA to include greater farmer input in the development of future rules.
We support the county drain/water resources commissioner’s ability to make decisions and determinations about the characteristics of water under their jurisdiction to assist state or federal agencies in jurisdictional determinations.