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Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters


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Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters

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From Bathtubs To Baptismal Fonts, Congress Moves To Give the Corps of Engineers and EPA Control Of All U.S. Waters

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Issue: Having been slapped down by the U. S. Supreme Court’s two recent decisions that the words “navigable waters” in the Clean Water Act limited federal agencies to regulation of navigable waters only. Democrats and liberal Republicans in Congress are striking back.

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They are attempting to pass the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2009 (No House Number – S 787 In Senate) that would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act and replace the words “navigable waters” with “waters of the United States.”* Further, it defines "waters of the United States" with such breathtaking scope that federal agencies would be required to regulate use of every square inch of the U.S., both public and private.

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The proposed definition states: “The term ‘waters of the United States’ means all waters subject to ebb and flow of the tides, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes [a flat dried up area, esp. a desert basin…] natural ponds and all impoundment of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.”

Action Items:

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-----1.* No matter what else you do, please forward this message as widely as possible to your list quickly.* Time is of the essence.

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-----2. Please call, e-mail and fax your member of Congress to urge him or her to ask Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. James Oberstar permission to testify in opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act at the October 15th hearing.* This is the last hearing before any vote so it is critical to get as much opposition as possible.***

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This is really important.* Get your Congressman or Senator to testify at the hearing.* Oberstar will say the hearing is about enforcement by the EPA and Corps of wetlands under the two Supreme Court rulings that said the EPA and Corps could only regulate navigable waters.*

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But it does involve the Clean Water Act and the Clean Water Restoration Act and there will not be another hearing just on the Clean Water Restoration Act before the House Committee acts so you must act now.*

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-----3.* Check to see if your Congressman is on the updated Transportation and Infrastructure Committee listed below.* If so, you need to call, fax and e-mail him or her with white hot intensity over the next two weeks.*

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-----4.* Ask him or her to oppose the Clean Water Restoration Act, this new Federal land and waterpower grab.* You may call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121.* Ask him or her to write Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to oppose the Clean Water Restoration Act and send you a copy of their letter.*

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-----5.* Your deadline for testimony is Thursday, October 15th. .* You must deluge your Member of Congress with calls, faxes and e-mails immediately.* Get your friends, neighbors and business associates to call also.**

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-----6.* Call, fax and e-mail each Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in opposition to the Clean Water Restoration Act.* It still has no number in the House but the Senate number is S 787.* You can look at that bill to get a good idea what the Oberstar bill will look like.*

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We have provided an updated and corrected staff and e-mail list below.* Staff is always changing.* If e-mail does not work, call the staff member to get the current e-mail.* Any Congressman can be called at (202) 225-3121.* This is a little work and you don’t have much time.* Failure to defeat the Clean Water Restoration Act would be a disaster for private property rights and Federal land use.****

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-----7.* Ask any organizations or groups you are part of to fax or******* e-mail a letter opposing the Clean Water Restoration Act.* Make sure they send you a copy and if you would, send us a copy also.***

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-----8.* You can send your testimony for the record to the following addresses listed below.* You must get your testimony in by Thursday, October 15th.** Try to get your Testimony in early.***** Send your Testimony to both the Majority (Democrats) and Minority (Republicans).

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-----Reminder -- Be aware of the legal concept called “laches” or “sleeping on your rights.”* You may lose legal rights later if you fail to comment or testify on the Clean Water Restoration Act.* So at least send a letter opposing the Clean Water Restoration Act.* It can be as short as one page or longer.*

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The Wetlands (No House Number Yet) Bill Gives Corps Control Over Your Property.* This is a game of hide and seek by Rep. James Oberstar who is trying to get his bill passed out of his Committee and he is not formally introducing it to try to limit opposition by you.* He is holding the coming hearing to try to prove that the EPA and Corps are having trouble interpreting the two Supreme Court decisions that said the Corps and EPA only had jurisdiction over “navigable waters.”*

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What he is trying to prove is that there is a need for his bill, the Clean Water Restoration Act, so he can get this massive land and water grab out of his Committee.* You are making the difference by keeping up your pressure.* Don’t stop now.*

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Please Fill Out the Wetlands Testimony Questionnaire Below And Forward It To your Congressman and the Committee.**

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Deadline – Thursday, October 15, 2009.* You must get your testimony in quickly.* Send it at least a few days early.* Don’t wait until the last minute.***

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-----Apology:* Yes, this e-mail is too long.* But this is such an important issue and affects so many people, we felt we needed not only to explain the issue but also give you the tools to impact your Congressman.* Please take the time to read it.* It may be one of the most important things you do this year.*

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By e-mailing, faxing or mailing the Testimony Questionnaire below, you can have a profound affect on the future of land use in America and you can personally make a difference in how Congress writes the law.* Don’t miss your chance to affect history.

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For additional background on the Clean Water Restoration Act and maps showing what the Corps and EPA Jurisdiction are now and what they would be if the Clean Water Restoration Act passes, go to - American Land Rights Association -.

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