Congressman Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, posted a series of maps he obtained via a FOIA request that EPA is using to plot wetlands.
Wetlands are a particularly sensitive issue right now as EPA evaluates its proposed rule to broaden what constitutes “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The new rule would bring huge new territory under EPA’s control under the Clean Water Act.
Smith wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in which he stated:
These maps show EPA’s plan: to control a huge amount of private property across the country. Given the astonishing picture they paint, I understand the EPA’s desire to minimize the importance of these maps. But the EPA’s posturing cannot explain away the alarming content of these documents. It’s time to give Americans a chance to make up their own minds about EPA’s intentions.
Smith called on EPA to publish the maps and include them in public comment on EPA’s WOTUS rule. He asked EPA to reset the clock for offering public comment to 60 days after EPA officially releases the maps to the public.