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Dear FreedomWorks members,
As one of our million-plus FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senator and ask him or her to cosponsor S. 2122, the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012. Introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the bill would reform federal water policy to protect land owners. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are dangerously out of control. The Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012 would rein in the powers of the EPA and protect the Constitutional rights of landowners.
Thousands of land owners across America are currently in legal fights with the EPA. Take for example, Mike and Chantell Sackett of Idaho who bought a plot of land to build a house on back in 2006. Mike and Chantell made sure they were following all of the laws before starting to build a house on their property. An Army of Engineers Official even informed them that they did not need a federal permit to do so. However, as soon as they started construction, three federal officials showed up and demanded that they stop building the house claiming the lot was a wetland, protected under the Clean Water Act. The Sacketts’ faced daily fines of $32,000 if they did not remove fill material and replant vegetation. They even faced criminal penalties if they continued to build the house on their own land. Unfortunately, the Sacketts’ case is not unique.
The Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012 would prevent future abuses from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill would redefine “navigable waters” to explicitly clarify that waters must actually be navigable, exclude intermittent streams from federal jurisdiction and restrain the EPA and the Army Corps from regulating the definition of navigable waters without Congressional authorization. It would further protect the rights of states to have primary authority over the land and water within their borders, prohibit federal agents from entering private property without the express content of the landowner and require the government to pay double the value of the land to any landowner whose property value is diminished by a wetlands designation.
Landowners should be free to do as they please with their own property. Americans have a fundamental right to private property. I urge you to contact your senator and ask him or her to cosponsor S. 2122, the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012 today.
President and CEO
[Click here for a PDF version of this letter.]