08-Jan-10 10:31:32 AM UTC
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Clean Water Restoration Act Raises Fears of Land Grab

Click HERE to read the legislation

Upwards of 40 percent of all land in the United States is already under some form of government control or ownership -- 800 million to 900 million acres out of America's total 2.2 billion acres.

The government now appears poised to wield greater control over private property on a number of fronts. The Clean Water Restoration Act (S-787-IS) currently pending in the U.S. Senate could reach to control even a "seasonal puddle" on private property.

"Right now, the law says that the Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of all navigable water," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Western Caucus and an opponent of the bill.

Senator John Barrasso said, "This bill removes the word 'navigable,' so for ranchers and farmers who have mud puddles, prairie potholes -- anything from snow melting on their land -- all of that water will now come under the regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency. "The government wants control of all water -- that also means that they want control over all of our land including the private property rights of people from the Rocky Mountain west, the western caucus and the entire United States."

The legislation, introduced by Wisconsin Democratic Sen Russ Feingold, has the support of 24 senators. It passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in June but has not been scheduled for a floor vote, though it could be tacked onto other legislation as an amendment.

Randy White