We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I suspect many of our readers would agree that the Obama EPA's extension of federal authority from navigable waters to every rural mudpuddle was overreach.
For three personal examples, that extension made if practically impossible to legally ditch our driveway because two seasonal trickles (albeit, already with small culverts) intersected it. Second, it made it practically impossible for us to replace a 200 year-old bridge over our stream, after Irene washed it out. Third, it made it illegal to dredge out a small old cow pond which, over time, had filled with sediment and become a "seasonal wetland" filled with grass.
As a conservationist, it saddened me to see the gradual loss of that pond along with the loss of our Painted Turtles, the shore and swamp birds, the frogs and salamanders, etc. But to dredge it legally (and I do not do illegal), we needed an environmental lawyer, an engineer consultant, etc. to begin a multi-year process to apply to the Army Corps of Engineers, the state EPA, and the federal EPA. Give me a break. It was a darn (50X60' roughly) farm pond, only 5'-6' deep in the middle at first.
I call B.S. on Glieck, I work for one of the largest water utilities in the US, and these minor discharges are in no way an issue to large utilities, which is where most people get their water. And the rest get their water from wells, which are not recharged from surface water. Obama’s EPA definitely overreached on this.
As a conservationist, it saddened me to see the gradual loss of that pond along with the loss of our Painted Turtles...
I have seen numerous examples of ecological succession in the area where I grew up in NE. The swamp around my childhood home, while still there, has gradually dried up. Meadows have changed into forest. All without the intervention of the EPA or local DEP.
But to dredge it legally (and I do not do illegal), we needed an environmental lawyer, an engineer consultant, etc. to begin a multi-year process to apply to the Army Corps of Engineers, the state EPA, and the federal EPA. Give me a break. It was a darn (50X60' roughly) farm pond, only 5'-6' deep in the middle at first.
Family friends brought in a bulldozer to create a pond where their children could swim. Today that couldn't be done without a whole bunch of expensive permits.
Re: 2015 Gold King Mine spill
The lead agency responsible for this disaster was the EPA...but they used the old "it wasn't me" excuse. Chuck Berry did it best in a song titled "It wasn't me", and a cover by George Thorogood and the Destroyers is pretty good too.
When we moved to this Texas Coastal Bend community 15 years ago, we saw that we had what I would call a prairie-wetland: a pond in wet years only. We assumed we'd need all kinds of permission to do anything here, but when we asked around, no local, state, or federal regulator wanted anything to do with it. We just did what we thought best.