EPA employees have taken flak recently for watching porn at work, pretending to be secret agents, and defecating in hallways. Now they’re under fire from yet another critic: other government agencies.
A few months ago, EPA proposed a rule to “clarify” the definition of “waters of the United States” subject to regulation under Clean Water Act. EPA claims the rule is noncontroversial and won’t have a major impact on the economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) thinks otherwise.
In an Oct. 1 letter to EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, SBA urged EPA to withdraw its proposed water rule, explaining that it would impose “a direct and potentially costly impact on small businesses.” SBA criticized EPA for pushing the rule forward before analyzing potential small business impacts as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
Fellow government employees are hardly the only critics of EPA’s power grab. Farmers and ranchers see the rule as a dramatic expansion of the agency’s regulatory authority to potentially include ponds and ditches on private property. As the American Farm Bureau puts it, “EPA and the Corps are now attempting to regulate virtually all water.” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has called such concerns “ludicrous.”
A broad and growing coalition has emerged to oppose EPA’s water rule. That EPA continues to dismiss these critics is indicative of the agency’s tin ear toward those affected by its radical agenda.