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Reader's view: We don’t need the EPA regulating our water

Dave Zentner, the past national president of the Izaak Walton League of America, seemed to be very confused about the scope of the Clean Water Act in his Sept. 20 Local View column, headlined “Clean water rule: Time to work together and move on.” He wrote that the 1972 Clean Water Act was supposed to cover all jurisdictions, including the state, county and townships. That’s simply not the case. The law was supposed to cover navigable waters — federal waters.

The proposed Clean Water Rule is another attempt to give Washington bureaucrats almost complete control over every waterway in the U.S. and even many places where water only occasionally flows. The last few times EPA officials attempted to go outside these bounds set by Congress, the Supreme Court had to rein them back in. EPA officials’ rhetoric on its need for this level of control is absurd. They actually claimed that all these areas were unregulated before they put forward their new, expansive rule.

State and local jurisdictions have plenty of power to prevent pollution. The EPA simply wants to pretend it is the only level of government that cares about clean water.

Concern over this rule isn’t just a partisan issue. In fact, Minnesota Democrats Collin Peterson and Tim Walz both supported a bill in the U.S. House to stop the rule. They realized that the new rule goes way too far. Minnesotans know we don’t have to empower distant bureaucrats in order to have clean water here at home.

Jerry Kortesmaki