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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
River Laws
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 • Posted April 24, 2013

Letter to the editor

For a number of years, the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers have been trying to re-write the verbiage in the original Clean Water Act passed in the early 1970’s along with many other environmental pieces of legislation. In the original Act, the word Navigable Waters was listed in the act as those under the authority of the two mentioned.

About 8 years ago, the EPA and the Corp took it upon themselves to change the verbiage to All Waters and began writing regulations around that change of wording. A suit was brought against the use of All Waters and the case went to the Supreme Court and the ruling came back to uphold the original wording of the Clean Water Act and retain Navigable Water.

Since that time, there is still an effort to bypass the Navigable verbiage and implement regulations covering All Waters and it has been a constant battle for the property rights organizations to force the following of the ruling of the Court. The property in the State of Texas is approx. 95% privately owned(the state owns all surface water) and it has been a constant effort of some NGO’s to TAKE from the owners of property, either thru a taking in regard to the Rare Species Act, buying by some, such as Nature’s Conservency, a land trust group, and acquiring property thru Conservation Easements.

As reported by the State Farm Bureau, this year, a Federal Judge, Ms. Jack, ruled in favor of a suit filed by an environmental group, that the TCEQ was at fault in the year 2008, during drought conditions, of not allowing enough fresh water from the San Antonio River Basin and The Guadalupe/Blanco River Basins to flow to the gulf resulting in the loss of 23 Whooping Cranes. As a result, this judge TOOK away the ownership by the State of Texas of the water and passed the authority on to the Federal pillagers. This is what is known as taking advantage of a result of nature to TAKE Ownership. The Texas AG has filed for and received a stay from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It is a shame that the loss of the cranes came about but since we had no rainfall, there was no fresh water to flow on these two rivers in a sufficient amount so the Regulators took advantage as a way to circumvent the powers of the judicial and congressional branches. I am guessing that the loss per bird was about $ 10 million each, as you taxpayers have a branch of the USF&WS catering only to the cranes. Now, since this ruling by the Judge is made and if allowed to stand, do not be surprised it you get a visit from the EPA after a flood of an inch or so, and you have a water puddle in your driveway, your property is now classified as a WETLANDS and you will be required to move. Be informed that you may be allowed a relocation payment but you probable had to forfeit your property as a Taking without compensation. You say it can’t happen?

Bill Hight

President, Hill Country Heritage Ast’n.

London, TX.

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