Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined 10 other state attorneys general and six governors in signing a letter formally objecting to the waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The letter suggested the proposed rule would place virtually every river, creek, stream, along with vast amounts of neighboring lands, under the agency’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Many of the these features, according to the state attorneys general and governors, are dry the vast majority of the time and already are in use by farmers, ranchers, developers and homeowners.

“States, by virtue of being closer to communities, are in the best position to provide effective, fair and responsive oversight of water use, and have consistently and conscientiously done so,” the letter read.

The joint letter asserts EPA’s proposed rule unlawfully and unconstitutionally seeks to exercise federal jurisdiction over local water and land use management. Under the rule, landowners would be forced to obtain expensive federal permits for certain management practices.

“This federal power grab is unnecessary, unwise and contrary to the Clean Water Act,” said Schmidt. “The proposed rule needs to be withdrawn.”

The deadline for public comment on the proposed rule is November 14. KLA members are encouraged to submit comments through the link provided on the front page of www.kla.org. A decision on whether to finalize, modify or revoke the proposed rule is not expected until 2015.

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