The conservative group - National Center for Policy Analysis - is calling on Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., to keep the word "navigable" in the 1972 Clean Water Act saying removal of the word is bad for the economy and ultimately bad for the environment.
The group claims removing that single word would give the federal government "carte blanche" freedom to control any and all state lands or private property that the feds deem to have water or wetlands. The group claims the government should have no jurisdiction over waters, and more importantly "over occasional soggy lands or privately owned ponds, lakes and quarries that lie within the borders of a single state," says H. Sterling Burnett, senior fallow at NCPA.
Burnett says recent Supreme Court rulings have begun to reign in the federal government's oversight and control of wetlands, so "Congress should either leave matters where they lie, or, better yet, pass a law restricting federal control to strictly 'navigable' waters that are explicitly created and controlled by the federal government."
There is concern that tighter control of the Clean Water Act could impact farm management of permits to use crop protection products and other far-reaching changes.