Proposed U.S. Clean Water Legislation to Regulate Farm Ponds
Representative James Oberstar (D-Minn) has introduced legislation (HR2421) which would greatly expand the regulatory reach of the Clean Water Act to the detriment of U.S. economic growth and agricultural operations, including aquaculture operations.
HR2421 will move the Clean Water Act beyond protecting wetlands and waterways, and create legislation that would regulate nearly every wet area in the nation - even if water is only present for a few days and even if it is on private land. This could include everything from ditches to farm ponds and possibly groundwater.
Under the proposed legislation, the regulatory reach of the CWA would undergo its greatest expansion since the law took effect in 1972 and grant the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers federal regulatory authority over all "intrastate waters". This proposal would potentially regulate nearly every wet area in the nation, including water on private lands. The new definition of "waters of the United States" would include farm and stock ponds to an estimated 55 million acres of prior converted cropland.
The National Aquaculture Association is urging its members immediately to contact their Congressional members to oppose to HR2421.