Clean Water Rule Restores Republican Vision

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) has been working to educate the public–especially fellow conservatives–about the EPA’s new Clean Water Rule. Check out our recent op-ed in the Knoxville News-Sentinel: Proposed Clean Water Rule Follows Baker’s Vision of Stewardship. CRS has also been carrying our message to the airwaves with interviews on drive-time radio in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Here are three clips from CRS President David Jenkins’ recent interview on WECO in Wartburg, Tennessee. WECO Clip 1, WECO Clip 2, WECO Clip 3 Background Back in May the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released a rulemaking to clarify which of our nation’s waters are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This was made necessary by a split U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2006 that muddied aspects of the old interpretation. The Court was split three ways and Justice Kennedy’s middle opinion–which said that for non-navigable water to be covered under the law they must affect the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of navigable waters–became the prevailing guidance for EPA and the Corps in crafting the new Clean Water Rule.  As a result, this new rule is more narrow and includes fewer waters than EPA’s guidance did prior to 2006. Still, some special interests, such as American Farm Bureau and land developers, are vigorously opposing the new rule in hopes of further narrowing the scope of the CWA to exclude smaller streams and many of our remaining wetlands. They are misrepresenting the Clean Water Rule as an unprecedented expansion of the CWA and ridiculously claiming it even...