Plummer: Wetland Legislation is a Massive Power-Grab for the State

Environmental activists are trying to score a win in Springfield at the expense of the private property rights of the people of Illinois, according to State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville). The controversy involves Senate Bill 771, which seeks to grant the state broad, sweeping authority over potential wetlands, authority that was taken away from the federal government via a Supreme Court ruling.

“This legislation isn’t about protecting wetlands, it’s about empowering the state to be able to come in and tell you what you can or can’t do on your property,” said Senator Plummer. “If this becomes law, it will have a massive negative impact on farmers, the construction industry, anyone looking to build a home, and all private property owners.”

Senate Bill 771 was filed by Democrats following a recent Supreme Court decision, Sackett v. EPA, which said that the federal EPA had overreached with their wetlands rules under the controversial “Waters of the US.”

This legislation would grant the state power to determine what is or isn’t a wetland, and then empower them to create significant regulations and restrictions for what is done on the property. Violations of the act could be fined $10,000 per day. The legislation also creates new permitting rules, which could allow for long, and costly legal proceedings when property owners are trying to improve their land. It would also allow a potentially continuous and never-ending process where anyone could appeal any approved permits.

Many organizations, especially ag-related groups, have come out strongly against the legislation, but Plummer says that the negative impact of the proposal would likely be felt by many homeowners and businesses as well.

“This legislation is absurd, and if it becomes law, it will just be one more reason that people choose not to build a home or start a business in Illinois,” said Plummer.

Senator Plummer encourages those who are concerned about the legislation to contact their own State Senator and Representative.

Jason Plummer

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