EXOP - Office of Science and Technology Policy

Sever MOU between ACOE and EPA,authorize USGS permit wetlands

I found out that the only reason that the ACOE is responsible for permitting wetlands is because their MOU with EAP was due to an act of Congress. The ACOE has no business permitting wetlands because they don't have a clue about what they are doing. They are engineers NOT scientists. As a result, people such as my husband, who had a stroke and me, are getting hurt. We lost our access to clean water 6 years ago when the ACOE permitted wetlands in our watershed above us for dredge and fill. The wetlands were providing clean water from our aquifer and keeping our property dry. The ACOE did it because Prince William County BOCS wanted the proffers from the houses. They didn’t care about the health and safety of the existing neighbors. The permitting authority for wetlands should be the USGS since they mapped all of the wetlands in the US and would have a better understanding of which ones would be critical to save. They would look at the entire watershed as has been advocated by the EPA since before 2005. Having the right scientists doing the permitting would clean up the Chesapeake Bay with less funds. My husband had it right. He said, "Whoever researches it should be in control of it." Placing the permitting authority with the scientists of the USGS could save billions of dollars every year through increased efficiency in the permitting process and it would keep the American public safe. At the current rate of permitting by the ACOE of vital wetlands hydrologically connected to the tributaries of the Occoquan River, the Chesapeake Bay will never be cleaned up in our lifetimes. County proffers from big construction should never be allowed to trump the health and safety of the American public. The US Government has a responsibility to my husband and me as taxpayers to hire the right people for the right job. Senate bill 760 should be brought to the floor and passed as a measure of accountability.

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Idea No. 4194