Very Gross Federal Overreach!!!

TrammelLetSnapA deviation from the norm this week.  The letter shown here appeared in yesterday’s (9/14) Grand Junction, Colorado Daily Sentinel letters to the editor.  It is obvious to me that Mr. Trammell (angler that he is) has no real concept of water law and water management, not to mention the EPA’s never ending push for more and more and more control over state and private property.  Hence my letter to the Sentinel Editor below, submitted today.


Editor – Grand Junction [Colorado] Daily Sentinel:

John Trammell needs to talk to people that understand how the state of Colorado manages and protects Colorado water that belongs to all the stakeholders (citizens) of Colorado. The Federal 1948 Pollution Control Act was expanded in 1972 by the then new (founded 1970) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to form the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA was implemented to control pollution of “navigable waters” – which as implied by the “navigable” adjective are waters that flow interstate and fall within the Interstate Commerce allowances of federal jurisdiction.

Since that first expansion of federal control over the nation’s water resources, the EPA’s attempts to redefine “Navigable Waters” to their jurisdictional advantage has been challenged in the federal courts and been struck down at least twice (the last in 2008 – re: Federal Court Vacates EPA’s Definition of “Navigable Waters” Under SPCC Rule[1]). This latest 2014 “ruling” proposed by the EPA reaches deeper than ever (both literally and figuratively) to change the court’s previous explicit definitions.

Colorado’s non-navigable waters and the uses thereof are very well managed by the State Engineer under the guidance of the Colorado Water Courts. There are no EPA overeducated under experienced bureaucrats in Washington DC that will ever understand source waters as well as these true experts located here in Colorado.

The EPA’s stated new definition of “navigable waters” in the subject proposed ruling directly affront the previous court decisions and go so far beyond the federal government’s previously adjudicated definitions there is no question of the intent – and the intent goes way beyond just preventing pollution.

There are state resource rights and private property rights at severe risk. Rep. Tipton and others in Congress understand this risk and recognize the need to stop this now!

With deeper federal intervention – what could possibly go wrong?

Tom Howe – Hotchkiss, Colorado




Skip to comment form

  1. I would like to add my AMEN to your letter, Tom, and the excellent comment that appears above. I will not belabor the point except to say that Colorado has an excellent water use system administered by capable people that actualy have the state’s interests in mind when they regulate and enforce our water laws. As a former agricultural water user for 20+ years, and a member of the local water board in this state I have worked closely with the water authority on matters of mutual concern and I have come away satisfied with the outcome every time. This state must push back against the federal government and their continuing attemps to manage our water. The state of Colorado does not need the “help” of the feds. wherein our water is concerned, nor do we need the uninformed interference of the likes of Trammell.

    • FH on September 15, 2014 at 10:44 AM
    • Reply


    All of Mr. Trammell’s comments are predicated on statements like “may lose protections” and “won’t regulate mud puddles” and other assumptions under the premise that only under Federal Government jurisdiction can his Colorado trout streams be truly “protected”.

    His viewpoints are myopic to say the least. He infers that “Federal Protection” of trout streams in Colorado via re-defining the long standing “Navigable Waters” Federal jurisdiction guideline is going to have no other effect nationwide.. or that if the proposed regulatory change provides additional “protections” for Colorado’s intra-state waterways then it must be a good thing for the rest of the country.. wether it needs it or not.

    His most glaring error is his statement that the EPA will not be regulating “mud-puddles” with their possibly new found regulatory authority. The CWA has already allowed the EPA to exercise Federal authority over water on private or state owned lands anywhere within US territory.. including such places as Guam.. via a Federal “wetlands” declaration.. which they can impose at will.. in order to “protect” whaterver they may chose, including wildlife that isn’t living and has not ever lived in the “wetlands” designated area.. because it has been determined that it is suitable habitat should that particular critter ever decide to move there.. which means as a private landowner.. you’re screwed.. and we are littlerarily talking about mud-puddles here..

    To wit.. the EPA is already regulating mud puddles on private land nationwide and the absurdity of their bureaucratic prowess is legend… and Mr. Trammell not only invites this “gross Federal overreach” into the the state of Colorado, which has been doing just fine in this regard, in order to “insure” protection for something that is already well defined and has wide public support from the citizens of Colorado. Colorado citizens entrust this authority to their state officials.. who are either directly or indirectly answerable to the people of Colorado.. not some far left environmentalst organization out of California which has a strong relationship with.. and converses regularly with.. the head of the Western Division of the EPA.

    While I hesitate to denigrate a fellow angler.. and I’ve spent many hours on the same streams for which Mr. Trammell seeks “additional protection”.. his comments help define the term “ignorance”. In addition they are very, very dangeious.. once you allow the bull with mad-cow disease into the china shop.. it is very difficult.. if not impossible.. to get him out. fh

    1. Great comment on our water and EPA. Thanks for taking the time to post such a reasoned comment.

      • Tom on September 15, 2014 at 3:06 PM
      • Reply

      Probably a good thing the Sentinel restricts letters to the editor to 300 words. My letter was exactly 300 words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.