This is a long post, it is copied directly from an email from the Land Rights Network. Essentially, the .gov is again using something we all want as an excuse to further intrude upon our rights. Read on:
House Wetlands and Clean Water Act Hearing April 16th
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing on Oberstar's Clean Water Act Land Grab Bill (HR 2421) set for next Wednesday, April 16th, at 11:00 am Eastern time.
Webcast of hearing will be on the Web. Go to - http://transportation.house.gov
You got a notice about the Senate version of this bill last week. That is S 1870. They are the same bill. The House must be overwhelmed with testimony and phone calls. Especially the Democrats. For the most part, they are supporting HR 2421.
We apologize for the length of this e-mail. We are trying to put tools in your hands that you can really use to get Congress to save your private property and access to Federal lands.
In the near future we are going to begin posting all the Committee Members with their staff, e-mails and faxes on our website so instead of sending them out each time, we will send you a link if you need to get their information. So change is coming. Hang in there.
You need to have the fax and e-mail numbers of the Members of the Committee. That takes up a lot of space. Please be patient. We know we've got to shorten the e-mails but Congress is throwing a lot at you and your property rights at the moment. So it is a real struggle.
It is critical that you take action with your Congressman and any other Congressman from your state. Please fill out and e-mail or fax your Testimony Questionnaire to your Congressman and the other Members of the Transportation Committee.
If you have already sent one to your Congressman, get some friends and relatives to fill it out and send it. Your Congressman must get hundreds of Testimony Questionnaires. You can print them out off our Website (www.landrights.org) in a formatted form and fax them in also.
Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters
Wetlands (HR 2421) Bill Gives Corps Control Over Your Property
New Wetlands Corps Land Grab Hearing Coming In House April 16th.
Please Fill Out the Wetlands Testimony Questionnaire Below And Forward It To your Congressman and the Committee.
Deadline - April 16, 2008. You must get your testimony in quickly. Send it at least a few days early. Don't wait until the last minute.
Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 expansion of power.
Congress considering expanding the power of the Clean Water Act of 1972 to include all waters of the United States and not limit it to navigable waters as is currently the law under two Supreme Court Decisions.
This is a massive threat to all private property in America. It also threatens the use of Federal land.
Under the name "clean water" HR 2421 would give the Corps of Engineers and the Federal Government massive additional regulatory powers that supercede local and state government.
People may be tempted to jump in favor of "clean water" not realizing they are trading away control over their land.
Besides private property, it threatens grazing, forestry, mining and many other uses on Federal land.
-----You should send testimony again even if you sent testimony for the previous hearing. This Testimony Questionnaire below has been modified and updated.
Below is the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. You must check to see if your Congressman is on this list. If he or she is, you need to be all over your Representative with white hot intensity. Call, Call and call again. Get your friends and neighbors to call. Also E-mail and fax. Your Congressman must feel the pressure and know in no uncertain terms that you oppose HR 2421.
If your Congressman is not on the Committee, go ahead and send the Testimony Questionnaire to the Committee Members and your Congressman. Ask your Congressman to write each Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee opposing HR 2421.
-----HR 2421 is the biggest threat to private property since CARA and actually affects far more land and people.
-----Action Items Below
We call HR 2421 the National Wetlands Clean Water Act - Land Grab Bill HR 2421.
(It's real name is the Clean Water Restoration Act but it has very little to do with clean water or restoration. It is mostly about land use control and expanding the power and reach of the Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act of 1972. )
What the bill supporters are doing is using the term "Clean Water," which everybody wants, as a tool to pass legislation (HR 2421) that is really about land use control and has little or nothing to do with clean water. It is a huge rural land grab. Their target is land use control over all lands, both urban and rural.
What it really does is give the Corps of Engineers control over nearly all private property in America by changing the definition of "wetlands" under the Clean Water Act of 1972 vastly expanding the regulatory reach of the Corps of Engineers over private property.
Take the Testimony Questionnaire below, save it to your word processor, edit it to say how you feel, and then e-mail it back to the Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee listed below.
Also e-mail it to your own Congressman. Follow up with a phone call.
This Testimony is for the new hearing set to take place April 16, 2008.
-----You may print out a formatted version of the Testimony Questionnaire that is below by going to www.landrights.org. It's easy. It is right on the homepage.
-----Urgent Action Required
-----Below we have created a Testimony Questionnaire for you to fill out and send to every e-mail address for Congress we have listed below for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Be sure and send it to your own Congressman as well. You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121 to get the e-mail of a Member of his or her staff.
The Testimony Questionnaire is designed so you can simply save it into your word processing file, edit it with your comments, and then send it to the Congressmen listed on the Committee using your e-mail program. Be sure to edit out or cut off the parts that are not part of the testimony. We've marked them so read it carefully.
-----We agree with all the statements on the Testimony Questionnaire, but you don't have to. You can mark it Agree, Disagree or No Opinion or add your own comments.
What is most important is that you fill out the blank space below the Statements with your own personal comments. You may get ideas and draw from the statements we have provided or preferably write your own. But don't fail to fill out the blank space.
The Testimony Questionnaire is rated at a much higher value by your Congressman if you write your own personal thoughts in the space provided after the section with the statements with Agree, Disagree, or No Opinion.
So please, take the time to either borrow from our statements at the upper part of the Questionnaire or write your own. But write something in that blank space above where we have made a place for you to write your name and address toward the bottom of the Testimony Questionnaire.
Please send a copy of your Testimony, no matter how you feel about the issue, to American Land Rights at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write in the Subject line: Copy of Testimony Sent to Congress. Otherwise we won't know whether you sent it to Congress or not. And we would like to know how you feel about the issues. You do not have to send a copy to us.
-----Testimony Questionnaire - Please be sure to edit the Testimony Questionnaire so our e-mail information and instructions are removed.
-----The Committee Hearing on the National Wetlands Land Grab Bill, HR 2421, on April 16th. Chairman Oberstar is trying to rush this bill so a Mark-up (vote) could come as early as April or May. They tried to sneak a vote in November but your e-mails and phone calls stopped them.
The official name of HR 2421 is the Clean Water Restoration Act but it does virtually nothing for clean water and is mostly about land use control. It would greatly expand the power of and the amount of land regulated by 1972 Clean Water Act and the Corps of Engineers.
-----See Action Items Below.
-----Updated -- Committee Staff Members do change and we have corrected several additional committee e-mail addresses below. If you find e-mail does not work, call the Congressman's office at (202) 225-3121 and ask for the staff person. Then ask for the correct e-mail. Send us an e-mail telling us about the correction.
Edit out all above this line before e-mailing this message.
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Testimony Questionnaire below:
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Congressional Testimony Questionnaire
Testimony For The Record
HR 2421 -- Clean Water Restoration Act (also Clean Water Act). We call it the (National Wetlands Corps of Engineers Land Use Control Bill)
US House of Representatives (Be sure to write the name of your Congressman and also James Oberstar, Chairman of the Committee.)
HR 2421, The Clean Water Restoration Act, is really a massive Federal land and water power grab. It will use "wetlands" to take control over every farm, ranch, and piece of private property with any water on it or even if the landowner only engage in activities that might affect water.
It expands the authority of the Federal government under the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the Corps of Engineers to include all waters of the U.S. and activities affecting these waters.
It will give the Corps of Engineers control over most private property.
In the words of Reed Hopper of Pacific Legal Foundation, lead attorney in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court victory, "...this bill pushes the limits of federal power to an extreme not matched by any other law, probably in the history of this country."
Below are my concerns and testimony regarding HR 2421, the inappropriately named Clean Water Restoration Act. It has little to do with clean water and is mostly about land use control.
Please allow this Testimony to be submitted for the record for any additional hearings to be held on HR 2421, the Clean Water Restoration Act, or the Clean Water Act.
Please consider a photocopy of this document as valid as the original and include my testimony for the official record.
Signature ________________________________ Print Your Name ______________________________
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Dear Private Property and Multiple-Use Advocate:
You must send your testimony in immediately. H.R. 2421 may come up for a hearing and possibly a vote in the House in April or May.
The Committee Chairman tried to rush a vote in November. It is imperative that you act now. The Clean Water Restoration Act may be the biggest threat to property rights and local control yet.
Rep. Oberstar changed the rules so that if you have sent in testimony before, you need to send it again with Chairman James Oberstar's name also on the Testimony as well as your own Congressman. You can send copies to each Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee listed below.
The bill would overturn two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that favored landowners and local government. It would give federal agencies and the Corps of Engineers in particular almost unlimited control over your land, your water and that of all your neighbors.
Reed Hopper, lead attorney in the latest Supreme Court victory for landowners said "...this bill pushes the limit of federal power to an extreme not matched by any other law, probably in the history of this country. Jim Burling, senior attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, said "If our constitutional system of limited federal powers means anything, we have to win on this issue."
It is important that you fill out the following testimony questionnaire and send it to your Congressman and all those Congressmen on the
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee listed below. It must be submitted by e-mail or fax by Wednesday, April 16th. Ask your Congressman to make sure it is put in the record of any upcoming hearing on HR 2421. Do not wait until the last minute. Be sure to send your testimony in early.
Please act on this as soon as you get this e-mail message. Do not put it off until tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late. Supporters of this bill are trying to ram HR 2421 through before people like you realize how dangerous it is.
Below is a Testimony Questionnaire for you to fill out and e-mail or fax back to your Congressman and the Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the US House of Representatives.
Be sure to check to see if your Congressman is on the Transportation Committee. This makes your Testimony even more valuable.
-----Alert -- Be aware of the legal concept called "laches" or "sleeping on your rights." You may lose future legal rights later if you fail to comment or testify on HR 2421. So at least send this Testimony Questionnaire and possibly a letter opposing HR 2421. It can be as short as one page or longer.
-----In the next section you will see a series of statements about HR 2421 that American Land Rights agrees with but you don't have to.
This Testimony Questionnaire is about helping you get your testimony to Congress. Your Congressman and the Members of the Committee want to know what you think. It is critical that you write your responses to the statements with your opinion and not what you think we would want you to write. You are free to disagree with us.
You can add comments to each statement or change the statements to fit your preference.
You have a chance to change the course of history on the whole "wetlands", Clean Water Act, or Corps of Engineers regulation issue by filling out this Testimony Questionnaire, writing your Congressman's name in the appropriate place, and e-mailing it to all the Members of Congress listed below. Send it to your neighbors and friends also.
We would appreciate it if you would send a copy to American Land Rights with the words "copy sent to Members of Congress in the subject line.
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-----Please save this document to your word processor, edit the document in your word processor and e-mail it or print it out and fax it to your Congressman and the other Members of the Transportation Committee listed below. Your personal comments make this document more valuable. So be sure to fill in the blank space with your own personal comments or concerns below where the section is with the Agree-Disagree statements are listed.
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--1. The jurisdiction of federal agencies under the Clean Water Act of 1972 should remain limited to navigable waters and not expanded to include all waters of the U.S., such as wetlands, sloughs, meadows, intermittent streams, prairie potholes, ponds, playa lakes, mudflats and sandflats.
--2. The definition of wetlands under federal jurisdiction should be limited to those areas that are permanently wet or free flowing.
--3. The Clean Water Act 1972 should not be used as a tool for national land use controls.
--4. The Clean Water Act of 1972 should not be expanded to include activities affecting waters.
--5. The U. S. Supreme Court decisions of 2001 and 2006 that ruled in favor of local government and landowners should not be overturned by the proposed Clean Water Restoration Act (HR 2421).
--6. Mostly dry land and isolated wetlands should be excluded from federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act of 1972.
--7. The definition of pollutants under the Clean Water Act of 1972 should not include clean fill or natural material of any kind.
--8. The term 'discharge' should not apply to the disturbance of soils or natural materials.
--9. Citizens cited for violation of regulations under the Clean Water Act of 1972 should not face criminal penalties.
--10. National Water Quality goals should be achieved without violating constitutionally protected property rights.
--11. National Water Quality goals are best achieved by local and state governments, rather than by federal agencies.
--12. National Water Quality goals should consider priorities and costs
--13. National Water Quality goals should consider regional differences in landscapes and other ecological characteristics.
--14. 'Regulatory Takings' that devalue private property should be compensated under provisions of the 5th Amendment.
--15. Access to and use and enjoyment of public lands and waters should be guaranteed under provisions of the Clean Water Act.
--16. 'Environmental' organizations have become too radical and have too much power and influence over federal legislation.
--17. The Clean Water Restoration Act and other environmental legislation is often not about environmental protection, but about control over land, water, and people.
--18. Please do not give the Corps of Engineers increased power to regulate more private land.
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(Your written comments here are essential if you want Members of Congress to really pay attention to this document. You are free to use as much space as you need. But please write some comments
below before sending this important document to Congress.)