Not all guidance is helpful or benevolent. That is particularly true if the guidance is coming from a government regulatory agency. Take, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to expand its regulatory reach under the Clean Water Act to nearly every drop of water, and some dry land, too.

Through what’s officially known as a “guidance document,” EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are seeking to remove the word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act. That action would allow them to regulate even a roadside ditch that holds water for only a few hours after a big rain. Both agencies have been upfront about their intent to use the guidance process to increase their regulation of water bodies and lands that have been under the states’ regulatory authority.