In accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of trying to regulate “water itself as a pollutant,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is not showing an excess of exactitude. But his looseness is rhetorical and harmless. The EPA’s is neither.
Last week federal judge Liam O’Grady sided with Cuccinelli when he ruled that the EPA had overstepped its bounds. As a measure of just how far the EPA had overreached, note that Cuccinelli’s suit against the EPA was joined by Fairfax County, led by Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova.
Bulova, a Democrat, is nobody’s idea of an environmental menace. A longtime advocate for commuter rail and mass transit, she started a Private Sector Energy Task Force to increase energy efficiency, sustainability, and “green-collar” jobs in the county. Nevertheless, she and other county leaders objected when the EPA tried to limit the amount of stormwater runoff into the 25-mile-long Accotink Creek, which empties into the Potomac. “When people talk about federal agencies running amok, this is exactly what [that] looks like,” said GOP Supervisor John C. Cook in July. “The EPA’s overreach is so extreme that the Democrats on the board realized that, even in an election year, they had to do this for the county.”