Do you own any land that has any stream, creek or wash running through it? What about a dry wash that only flows after a heavy rain?
If so, be prepared to learn that the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency plan to take control of that part of your private property. In March, the two organizations proposed a new Waters of the United States rule that would clarify which streams and wetlands, including those that are intermittent, seasonal or rain-dependent, would be protected under the Clean Water Act.
What exactly would that mean? It would mean that Waters of the United States would allow the EPA to have absolute power and authority over any stream, creek or wash that has been dry for hundreds of years, throughout the US. The authority would not only be for those waterways on public land but also for every one on private property.
Imagine that you live somewhere in the southwest and have the smallest of a dry wash that runs across your backyard. The new rule proposal would give the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers total control over that portion of your yard. They could and will dictate whether you put up a fence over the wash, clean out or channel the wash or even pipe it and put it underground.
Or imagine a land developer that purchases land on which to build a hospital or apartments, homes, business offices or stores. The developer spends several million dollars on his development only to have the land Gestapo come in and tell him he can’t develop the land because of a dry wash that runs through the middle of it.