Letter: Commissioners need to act on the Preserve the Waters of the US Act | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Commissioners need to act on the Preserve the Waters of the US Act

It is a well-known fact that Garfield County Commissioners Mike Samson, John Martin and Tom Jankovsky will bend over backwards to adopt formal resolutions that support the oil and gas extraction industry. Spurred on by the “fascist-capitalist” organization ALEC, Samson, Martin and Jankovsky have gone as far as Vernal, Utah, to adopt resolutions opposing federal regulations that would add environmental controls upon the oil and gas industry.

Accordingly, do the Garfield County farmers and ranchers who voted to re-elect Samson and Martin last November know what the Obama EPA is planning to do with Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap irrigation infrastructure? Moreover, do Samson, Martin and Jankovsky know of S.1006, a bill in the U.S. Senate?

The Preserve the Waters of the US Act (S.1006) is currently before the Senate and is a bill to block new regulations finalized in 2012 by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency. Operating only from a “Guidance Document,” the new federal regulations define ditches, gullies and other property features that catch and transport water as part of “America’s Navigable Waterways” under the Clean Water Act. The new regulations would expand the EPA’s federal muscle into backyards and farms across the nation and into Garfield County. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers would become the de facto owner of Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap dams, reservoirs and irrigation ditches.

There are 26 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate of S.1006, which would prevent the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using this 2012 “Guidance Document” to grant legal authority under the Clean Water Act to those two agencies. Mike Samson, John Martin and Tom Jankovsky have an obligation, to the farmers and water rights owners of Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap reservoirs, to adopt a formal resolution to be sent to Sens. Udall and Bennett as well as Congressman Scott Tipton, supporting S.1006.

Carl McWilliams


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