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New Water Regulations?


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Thanks to @wish for posting this, but as someone who ENJOYS skiing on a private lake we all need to take a minute and look at this article.





Regardless of your views - I know that most of us want to preserve the "water time and space" that we currently enjoy. This doesn't effect ONLY skiing - but the permits for building will take longer and cost a LOT more to get done. For example: if a disposal company wants to get a new permit for a new disposal site it takes ~10 years for the permits to be approved. (I can't imagine the costs for that) Lets get the word out.

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Hmmm, and people wonder why our government is in such bad shape right now. I could come up with 20 things more important that they should be focusing on instead of "which waterways they can regulate". The problem is, this may take so long that people are either going to A) forget about it or B) think that it just got dropped due to something like lack of funding (which this should NOT have funding)
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Wouldn't it be great if there were a National Association of Watersports Manufacturers and Retailers who could take this up as a lobby initiative? I don't think that is the scope of USAWS. However, USAWS could certainly bring to life such an association by coordinating their contacts within the industry...
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No doubt USAWS has a responsibility to advocate on our behalf - it's listed under Membership Benefits, Protection: "Waterways Advocacy – Assistance with waterways access and legislation issues to protect your waterways." As @KLindy mentioned, contact you're regional representative - ask what's being done, or what you can do to help.


This is where you can find a summary of the draft report, and a link to the full draft: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=238345


This link has a list of all members of the science advisory board that may recommend amendments to the Act. There are many university faculty members - if you're an alumnus, call them: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabpeople.nsf/WebExternalSubCommitteeRosters?OpenView&committee=BOARD&subcommittee=Panel%20for%20the%20Review%20of%20the%20EPA%20Water%20Body%20Connectivity%20Report


And here's the notification for their required public meetings in mid-December (you don't have to be present to submit comments). At a minimum, I hope USAWS is submitting comments: http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/24/2013-23198/notification-of-a-public-meeting-of-the-science-advisory-board-panel-for-the-review-of-the-epa-water


There are exemptions under the Clean Water Act that may apply to your site already. But, it'd be smart for some representation from the skiing community and hopefully USAWS will participate. I'm sure boating industry organizations are involved already.


I'm not as panicked as some about this and I don't buy that this is to get boats off the waterways, or that the govt cares to have supervision over a trip to the bathroom as @EdBrazil suggests. But, it'd be smart to watch it and participate in the process...whether it's through an organization, or you as an individual.

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@BK Great stuff. I dont think the panic is for boating/skiing/private lakes in general but it is the step towards the expansion the EPA is looking to do beyond its current jurisdiction. Once that expansion occurs, it is to late. Then you have to hope that reasonable people will be in charge. I think recent events in the news regarding new Federal regulations of health care affairs has proved that reasonable has gone out the window and replaced with crazy.
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Bottom line....the gov't wants to control what you eat (new York laws pertaining to soda size and salt intake), what you listen to (they are trying to pass a fair time act dealing with radio-equal time for both sides; lib/con; even though most ultra lib radio talk shows aren't profitable), what you put in your bodies (anti smoking laws) and waterway issues as well. In Louisiana our state govt is trying to tax water usage on private land as well (mainly due to large amounts of frac water usage). @edbrazil is correct, they will tax and tell you when to hit the Jon with in the next 20 years if there isn't a huge change. Unfortunately the lib-tards have entrenched themselves in our gov't and school systems so deep it may be to late to root them all out.
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Anytime the EPA gets involved there's bound to be trouble. And unfortunately the EPA can get involved in anything it deems within its jurisdiction. That being anything to protect the environment, hence the name. Once they know, look out. Off the track a bit but still relevant due to the theme of government control, all bodies of water in the state of KY are subject to ALL the waterway laws and regulations. Fortunately the enforcement agency has not yet chosen to increase their workload by pestering us on private ski sites, about such things as USCGA approved vests, vests at all for tricking, etc.
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Careful not to overshadow this in political banter. Getting lost in that will solve nothing and most likely get this necessary thread closed. We all have different levels of political leanings. This is not political. Both sides of the isle have over reached at some point. It's hard...I know. I'd like to go off to but rather focus on the task at hand.
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@wish - your dead on right. What this is is a "battle" if you will for using the waterways. For a private ski site, will a "barge" ever be on it? NO (except wakeboard boats but that is a different story) So I believe the concern is this with the EPA: erosion and keeping the current waterways open for barge/transportation needs. Waterways are valuable and they need to be open and preserved for all generations to come - that much we all agree on. How it gets done is the big question. So if we are all cognizant of what we are doing in the waterways then it will be better for all of us. Use it - don't abuse it.
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@mattP, @Skoot1123, @wish, @toddL and others, USA WS is part of the WSIA (watersports industry association) and are involved with the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) We attend WSIA board meetings and are involved in conversations with both organizations constantly. Not only making sure USA-WS and our sport remains relevant in discussions but also to stay involved and use our resources to protect and serve as much as we can on a larger scale. The mission of WSIA is to serve as the world’s leading trade association that promotes and protects towed water sports activities-- and they do a darn good job at it. There are a lot of people behind the scenes, working with lobbyists and fighting against potential EPA issues across the nation on a daily basis--I see the emails and during the last WSIA board meeting there was an entire presentation on a success story in Wisconsin and the potential negative economic impact it could have had on our entire industry had the politicians been successful at banning boats with engines on certain lakes. (Mind you this stemmed from a grumpy man claiming "erosion" from a wakeboard boat.) WSIA and NMMA work with third party researchers to determine rates of erosion and put together convincing reports to protect the waterways and skiers/riders right to use them... This is just one small example. I appreciate everyone taking an interest and a concern in this ugly-stuff, it's so nice to know we are not an island. Like @klindy mentioned, you can send a note to your regional rep and do your part ;)
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Found this this morning. Very intersting.



Associated Press November 2, 2015.


By Mary Clare Jalonick


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted for a resolution calling for

scrapping new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries

and wetlands from development and pollution.


Senators voted 53-44 in favor of a "resolution of disapproval," a

measure that would void the regulations if also passed by the House

and signed by the president. The White House has said it would veto

the resolution.


The Obama administration says the rules issued by the Environmental

Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May would

safeguard drinking water for 117 million Americans. Republicans and

some rural Democrats say the rules would give federal regulators

unprecedented control of small bodies of water on private land.


Federal courts have already put the regulations on hold as they

consider a number of lawsuits.



Grouped By Vote Position


YEAs ---57 These Senators voted for the bill.


Alexander (R-TN)


Ayotte (R-NH)


Barrasso (R-WY)


Blunt (R-MO)


Boozman (R-AR)


Burr (R-NC)


Capito (R-WV)


Cassidy (R-LA)


Coats (R-IN)


Cochran (R-MS)


Collins (R-ME)


Corker (R-TN)


Cornyn (R-TX)


Cotton (R-AR)


Crapo (R-ID)


Cruz (R-TX)


Daines (R-MT)


Donnelly (D-IN)


Enzi (R-WY) Ernst (R-IA)


Fischer (R-NE)


Flake (R-AZ)


Gardner (R-CO)


Graham (R-SC)


Grassley (R-IA)


Heitkamp (D-ND)


Heller (R-NV)


Hoeven (R-ND)


Inhofe (R-OK)


Isakson (R-GA)


Johnson (R-WI)


Kirk (R-IL)


Lankford (R-OK)


Lee (R-UT)


Manchin (D-WV)


McCain (R-AZ)


McCaskill (D-MO)


McConnell (R-KY) Moran (R-KS)


Murkowski (R-AK)


Paul (R-KY)


Perdue (R-GA)


Portman (R-OH)


Risch (R-ID)


Roberts (R-KS)


Rounds (R-SD)


Rubio (R-FL)


Sasse (R-NE)


Scott (R-SC)


Sessions (R-AL)


Shelby (R-AL)


Sullivan (R-AK)


Thune (R-SD)


Tillis (R-NC)


Toomey (R-PA)


Vitter (R-LA)


Wicker (R-MS)



NAYs ---41 These Senators vote against the bill.


Baldwin (D-WI)


Bennet (D-CO)


Blumenthal (D-CT)


Booker (D-NJ)


Boxer (D-CA)


Cantwell (D-WA)


Cardin (D-MD)


Carper (D-DE)


Casey (D-PA)


Coons (D-DE)


Durbin (D-IL)


Feinstein (D-CA)


Franken (D-MN)


Gillibrand (D-NY) Heinrich (D-NM)


Hirono (D-HI)


Kaine (D-VA)


King (I-ME)


Klobuchar (D-MN)


Leahy (D-VT)


Markey (D-MA)


Menendez (D-NJ)


Merkley (D-OR)


Mikulski (D-MD)


Murphy (D-CT)


Murray (D-WA)


Nelson (D-FL)


Peters (D-MI) Reed (D-RI)


Reid (D-NV)


Sanders (I-VT)


Schatz (D-HI)


Schumer (D-NY)


Shaheen (D-NH)


Stabenow (D-MI)


Tester (D-MT)


Udall (D-NM)


Warner (D-VA)


Warren (D-MA)


Whitehouse (D-RI)


Wyden (D-OR)


Not Voting - 2


Brown (D-OH) Hatch (R-UT)



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Ski West Village just went through a nightmare with the county health department over which water standard we should fall under. Ski West had countless hours of water contact of owners and guest with out any problems because of water contact. Our water was tested monthly by an independent company and our quality was very good especially when you compared our results to other lakes in our area, and especially the public lakes in Kern County. We had one incident when a guest cut his foot and developed a infection. There is more involved with that guest but I don't want to get into it.


A report was filed with the county health department and that started a year and a half battle

with the county which cost us over $20K to defend ourselves. The county wanted to shut us down and allow no water contact at all. They wanted to hold us to "drinking water" standards

which we barely were over while at the same time other lakes in out area and the public lakes were 20 times worse that our readings. During this time we had to have warnings signs up and we could not hold tournaments.


It was a joke, but a very expensive one.



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I've been a bit out of the loop on vacation, but from what I gather the Senate resolution pushes back all the new items that EPA is attempting to insert themselves into.


It's true that "votes matter", but it's the bureaucrats that bloat the system, makes regulations that have the force of law, and are there for life...

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I think this just came up in the GOP Debate... As a BAD thing. Bush referred to it as "...Waters of the United States Act will be devastating to agriculture and....." Was short but hopefully heard. Not sure he named it correctly.
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Act itself harmful and he lumped it in with several well known acts that the GOP has been on the record as wanting to repeal. I've heard all the others many times but this is the first time I've heard this listed with all the others.
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The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Time to hook up with the fishermen, folks. I seriously doubt the EPA will take on restricting water access to fishermen. They would have a war on their hands. Gander Mtn., Basspro, Cabelas, and others would fold. I could see private lakes getting shut down but not public lake access.
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@wolfeie I'd hate to the see the test result of the pond we ski in. Its a cow pasture with no telling what kind of run off in it. Its not uncommon for us to have to wait for the cattle to get out of the way before continuing sking. Sometimes not knowing is a good thing. No one died from the water, can't say that for the giant Public lake up the road.
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I am reading it that a retention pond, with no feed from or outlet to a main stream or waterway would NOT be covered by the over reach. We are a borrow pit, scooped out in clay soil, with no direct feed. We may have a spring somewhere, as I have been told by the locals, but would be hard to prove or disprove in 18 feet of water.








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@A_B the "direct connect" is what is unclear. Some say they will push that definition to include your lake (pit) and it's affect on underground water quality below it that ultimately connects to downstream water at some point even if they have no proof. Regardless, this is still a power grab, becomes closer to what we fear and serves no purpose through any scientific research as to the positive outcomes of such drastic overreach. In other words "in the name of clean water" we are taking control of your private property regardless if it makes a difference to water quality because we have no proof that it will. But clean water sounds good ..right?? How can you vote against that?? They will probably start labeling anyone apposing as "hydrophobes" or "liquid bigots".
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Agree. I will be emailing my Reoresentatives to see if we can muster enough votes to over-ride the forthcoming veto which seems guaranteed.


I wonder who is really going to make money or lose money on this? Money is always behind everything. EPA is a convenient smoke screen.

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