Federal Power Grab called “…just a clarification.”

CombinedSenate072514This letter to both my Senators is important enough to cover two weeks legislative session before the big “August Recess.”  The EPA is attempting to cover up their largest federal power grab ever by changing the definition of “Navigable Waters” – again – and calling it a “clarification.”  The agency should be disbanded!


Dear Senators Udall & Bennet:

When you chose to enter the election process in Colorado to become (or continue as) a Senator representing Colorado in our federal government, you implied you would put Colorado and the citizens of Colorado first when decisions and governmental overview issues affecting Colorado were apparent.  We didn’t give you our trust just to go to Washington DC and ignore federal actions that could severely harm and or change the way our state resides in our union, ignore the way the “states’ rights” are eroded away by pervasive federal government intervention, or ignore and allow dictated federal regulatory law to supersede the legislative process.  It’s your job to represent Colorado and Colorado stakeholders and protect us from what has become massive federal intervention and erosion of states’ and citizens’ rights.

You seem to be more interested in following a path of states’ rights destruction by allowing federal agencies to dictate law by regulation rather than legislating law by representation as directed by the US Constitution.  You and your colleagues in the Legislative Branch of our government are supposed to be running this country.  Law that directs federal action is to be legislated – not dictated.  Do you realize that?  Please, tell me you do!

There is a seemingly simple “clarification rule” of the Clean Water Act proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has such massive consequences across this nation it’s deserving of being the last straw that should end the EPA all together.  The Clean Water Act gives the federal government jurisdiction over “Navigable Waters” in and around the United States.  The term “Navigable Water” in either its most simple or most complex definition is quite restrictive and has been defined (by the EPA) and adjudicated (again) as recently as November 26, 2008 as being as defined in the Federal Register, December 11, 1973 (see 38 FR 34165) – which is nothing in any way, shape or form similar to the all-encompassing definition (oh, excuse me – according to the EPA, clarification) imposed by the proposed rule.

As of today, Colorado has NO Navigable Waters.  If the EPA “clarification” rule is imposed, ALL water now the property of the stakeholders of Colorado will, in essence, become federal waters.  In my opinion, the State of Colorado (and all other states) will have no choice but to immediately go to the courts and challenge the ruling.  You two should be the first to attempt to stop this unlawful federal intrusion into the way the State of Colorado manages the resources within its charge.

It’s very easy for you to do your duty.  All you have to do is vote for and pass Senate Bill 2496, To preserve existing rights and responsibilities with respect to waters of the United States.

Your actions on this bill will tell us if you really represent Colorado or if you have become just another DC politician that cares little or not at all about your state and your constituents.

We’re watching.

Tom Howe – Flying W Ranch – Hotchkiss, Colorado

CC: Representative Scott Tipton


  1. I agree with your reply to my comment entirely, Tom. Water rights are certainly real property; however, these people are socialists and their mission is to gradually take away all private property. I don’t want them to do anything similar to this, but they do not care what I think. They will continue eroding my rights until I have none or ‘we the people’ go to war to erase them from the land. That point has not been reached yet.

  2. Water rights have been moving in this direction for sometime. Water rights are power and the tree huggers under the guise of EPA want it all.
    I owned ranch/farm land, both livestock and crop for more than 20-years, selling the last of a 700+ acre parcel as recently as 2002. I have long said that they will take the small operator’s irrigation water at some point, for the greater good – front range development.
    Even worse than that will be the dead-pool situation that Lake Powell faces – water level so low that no more water can be released downstream. If Powell reaches dead-pool, all irrigation water rights junior to 1922 will be lost. That ought to finish ag. on the western slope for good.

      • Tom on July 25, 2014 at 3:02 PM
      • Reply

      The impact of this proposed “clarification” goes beyond water “rights” and the 1922 Colorado River Pact. In Colorado Water Use Decrees (in lieu of “rights”) are real property – just like your home. Do you want the federal government telling you how to arrange your house and what rooms you can and cannot use – and what you are allowed to do in the rooms they say you can use?

      Such intrusion into management of the water that belongs to the citizens of Colorado is exactly what this “clarification” will entail.

      The attempted abuse of agency power is abominable.

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