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Letter: Waterways under threat

I would like to make a civil response to Graden West's letter of Aug. 16 which contains some factual errors. I wrote specifically about HR 5088, and its companion bill, S-787I. I've carefully read and thoroughly researched these bills; have you done that?

This bill is about is striking the words "navigable waters of the United States" and inserting the words "waters of the United States" into the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. You might ask what this means. It means the EPA and the Corps of Engineers will have control over every acre of surface water and adjoining lands in the U.S. It also means if you have a water puddle in your backyard, they will have control over that too.

It could also mean that every drainage project that was done after Dec. 23, 1985, may have to be undone. This bill also means that if farmers have done any tiling, grassed waterways or ditching on their own property, they would possibly have to remove those improvements.

It also means there could be up to a one-third loss of tillable land in west central Minnesota, and an overall loss of tillable land across America. The end result would be a shortage of land for grain and livestock production.

If you look at the list of co-sponsors of the Senate version of this bill, it's a who's who list of liberals from the metropolitan areas across America who have no idea of the consequences of this bill. Their primary concern is that it gives them (the liberals), more control over our lives.

This legislation would not only cause a decrease in land for food production, it would also result in a loss of land for producing grain for bio-fuels, thus creating a larger dependence on foreign oil.

I've had some very knowledgeable people from the Ag industry study this bill. They agreed it could cause irreparable harm to American agriculture, thus doing further harm to our already struggling economy.

Is this what the people want, Mr. West? I will be voting as a conservative on Nov. 2.

Earl Pederson