The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity today called on the 35-member RhodeMap RI consortium to postpone adoption of its controversial plan until a more rigorous public debate has ensued. In a related move, led by the U.S Chamber of Commerce, the Center also joins with more than 300 trade associations and chambers from 50 states representing a wide range of industries to voice strong concerns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' flawed proposed rule to dramatically expand the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the U.S. and called for the proposal to be withdrawn.
"What we see is a coordinated national-state-local scheme where federal agencies are poised to seize unprecedented levels of control over local land-use and housing issues," commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. "Property owners and local officials are about to lose sovereignty over their own affairs to the federal government."
The RhodeMap RI consortium is scheduled to meet this afternoon to formally adopt the group's plan, which many fear would impose a radical social-engineering agenda on much of the Ocean State. The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 today in room 302 of the Roger Williams Providence Campus at 150 Washington Street.
Stenhouse, in referring to other protesters who are also expected to attend, said "I do not know if they will allow us to make public comments."
With regard to the proposed EPA regulation, the national groups' comments state, "The proposed rule is really about the Agencies' overreaching attempt to replace longstanding state and local control of land uses near water with centralized federal control. In light of the overwhelming evidence that the proposed rule would have a devastating impact on businesses, states, and local governments without any real benefit to water quality, the Agencies should immediately withdraw the waters of the U.S. proposal and begin again. The current proposed rule is simply too procedurally and legally flawed to repair."
The comments detail several examples of the impacts of the proposed rule, including:
As part of the public comment period for the RhodeMap RI plan, in late October, the Center submitted a nine-page letter that lists multiple economic, governance, and philosophical concerns and discusses the negative consequences of ceding the sovereignty of state and local governments to un-elected bureaucrats from a federal agency. The Center recommends Rhode Island should not become the first state to adopt such measures, especially given the lack of public debate on the topic.
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