EPA’s Attempt to Regulate the Rain Washes Away

In the process of regulating everything under the sun, (literally) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently made a bold grab at regulating everything from the clouds as well. More specifically, they had to defend themselves in a court case in Virginia for the right to regulate the rainfall.

The very fact that they would attempt something so bizarre is a clear indication that despite the departure of their red tape-wielding leader Lisa Jackson, the EPA has no intentions of easing off the regulatory gas pedal.

Allow me to repeat that – the EPA made a case to regulate rain water.

Steve Doocy of Fox News reported last month that “the EPA is trying regulate water as a pollutant in the great state of Virginia”.

He added, “If the EPA wins” thousands of people “could be booted from their houses so the agency can flatten them and plant grass”.

The Washington Examiner provided further explanation:

During oral arguments last month, Cuccinelli pointed out that VDOT and Fairfax County would be forced to condemn a significant amount of private property surrounding the creek to comply. 

They added:

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 to keep pollutants out of water. But water itself is now the culprit, the EPA claims.  If this makes no sense to you, join the club.”

Fortunately for taxpayers, cooler heads prevailed last week when a federal judge struck down the attempt to regulate stormwater runoff as a breach of authority.  The judge, U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady, ruled that the EPA had exceeded their authority in trying to regulate stormwater runoff into a Fairfax County creek because it was a pollutant.

In doing so, O’Grady stated an obvious observation about water that falls from the sky:

“Stormwater runoff is not a pollutant, so EPA is not authorized to regulate it,” O’Grady said.

The ruling saves the taxpayers of Virginia more than $300 million according to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

A Fox report explains why the EPA legitimately thought that rainwater could be regulated as a pollutant:

“The EPA contended that water itself can be regulated as a pollutant if there’s too much of it. The agency says heavy runoff is having a negative impact on Accotink Creek and that it has the regulatory authority to remedy the situation.

The power grab was so absurd that both Democrats and Republicans were participants in the lawsuit that contended that the EPA was not only wasting taxpayer funds, but wasting people’s time as well by proposing something of this nature.

Cuccinelli reacted to the legal victory with this statement:

“EPA’s thinking here was that if Congress didn’t explicitly prohibit the agency from doing something, that meant it could, in fact, do it,” said Cuccinelli. “Logic like that would lead the EPA to conclude that if Congress didn’t prohibit it from invading Mexico, it had the authority to invade Mexico.  This incredibly flawed thinking would have allowed the agency to dramatically expand its power at its own unlimited discretion. Today, the court said otherwise.”

While the EPA wasn’t able to get away with it this time, it shows the agency is willing to get their little regulatory hands on just about anything – including the weather.

The EPA sought to protect water in a creek by claiming it was being polluted by water from the sky.  The end result was an attempted drowning of Virginians in a sea of red tape.

Perhaps that makes the EPA itself the most dangerous pollutant of all.