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You may have seen your last July 4 fireworks if the EPA has its way

New rules will lead to more lawsuits canceling displays

firework

Just when you think that some things are too sacred for the nannies at the EPA to touch, there they go again.  Yes, fellow citizens, they are messing with our July 4 fireworks displays.

As The Hill reported, in March the EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers proposed finalizing rules that would

…clarify that the majority of the nation’s streams and wetlands are under their jurisdiction.

“We are clarifying protection for the upstream waters that are absolutely vital to downstream communities,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement.

And by “clarify” she means expand to the furthest reaching, most intrusive, crawl up your shorts possible “interpretation” of the Clean Water Act.

On July 1, eight U.S. Senators signed a letter to the EPA detailing how the new regulations have created a litigious environment that allows rabid environmentalists to sue cities to stop fireworks displays.

In California, there is clearly a concerted effort to prevent local communities from conducting traditional Fourth of July fireworks shows.  The Lake Murray July Fourth Music Fest and Fireworks Show has been cancelled three years in a row due to litigation uncertainty.  Last month, the San Diest City Council agreed to pay an environmental lawyer $250,000 in order to end litigation of Fourth of July fireworks displays.  At Lake Tahoe, officials nearly cancelled this year’s Fourth of July fireworks who in response to an environmental lawsuit…

The Lake Tahoe suit alleged that the display violated the Clean Water Act, just as the EPA and Corps of Engineers interpreted it.  How long will it take before these lawsuits become common, and only cities with the ability to fend off the lawsuits will be able to have fireworks on the Fourth of July?

The EPA’s power grabbing regulations were first proposed in 2011, and now they are about to be implemented with the full effect of law.  Ben Howe wrote back then,

It’s important to remember the original purpose of the Clean Water Act (1972).  It gives the federal government and the EPA the authority to regulate “navigable waterways.”  In other words, not a ditch out front with a lot of water in it and certainly not acres upon acres of private or state owned wetlands.  Yet, regulating these types of waters is precisely what the EPA is in the midst of doing.

Unless the EPA is stopped (which GOP Senators are attempting to do through a bill The Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014), the new rules will become final, and we’ll have to count on some communities to elevate their complaints to the Supreme Court for relief, just like with the Clean Air Act.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s fireworks, because for some of you, they may be the last for a while, and this is a great national shame.

 

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