GOP Rep. Austin Scott said Thursday that the new “Waters of the U.S.” regulatory rule will not only hurt American farmers, but could impact everyone with government overreach.
“The heavy hand of the federal government does not believe in private property rights,” the Georgia congressman said on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “People need to be paying attention to this, because if they can do it to the farmer, they can do it to any business owner. If they can do it to any business owner, they can do it to any American.”
The new rule, which is set to take effect this year, allows the government to determine which waters are protected from pollution by determining if they are “relatively permanent” or have a “significant nexus” with larger navigable waterways.
“Farmers are great people and they’re great stewards of the land,” Scott said. “If there is a problem, the federal government has the ability to go get a warrant if they believe that there’s a pollutant coming from an area. They have the ability to go get a warrant, and then come on your property.”
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, a nonpartisan nonprofit, released a statement saying the new rule is a classic example of government overreach.
“The EPA’s latest rule on defining “waters of the United States” is a statement of federal overreach that ignores states’ authority to regulate intrastate water quality and the Clean Water Act’s statutory mandate for cooperative federalism,” the statement reads.
Scott says that the government is just looking for an excuse to violate property rights.
“What they’re doing with Waters of the US is just looking for an excuse to come onto your property and find a violation,” he stated. “So it kind of comes back to the unreasonable search and seizure.”