Skip a Stone at Your Peril: EPA Ponders Pond and Puddle Regulations

Through a low-profile attempt to rewrite existing regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to become the “lord and master over land throughout the United States” by making a tiny but powerful change to the Clean Water Act that could effectively create federal zoning authority.

On the 10/10/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, National Center senior fellow Dr. Bonner Cohen reported how the EPA has proposed changing the Clean Water Act to expand the law’s authority from only “navigable waters” to simply the “waters of the United States.”  This, Bonner says, would make the federal government the ultimate authority over almost all land use decisions because the coverage of the law would expand from “rivers, streams, bays and channels” to “isolated” bodies of water such as ponds, ditches and perhaps even puddles.  And the change is expected to also cover activities on the land surrounding these newly-regulated isolated waters.

If implemented, Bonner warns that this will not only create new rules and long delays for even the smallest land use determinations (particularly for those living in rural areas), but making the federal government the ultimate arbiter of land use decisions will also leave those who are denied approval very little or no recourse.



The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.