The EPA, apparently hasn’t done enough damage out West. Now they’ve decided to persecute farmer Wyoming farmer Andy Johnson.
From The Washington Times story “Wyoming farmer sues after facing $16 million in fines for building stock pond”:
Farmer Andy Johnson hasn’t sent millions of gallons of gold-mine wastewater down any rivers, but he’s facing more than $16 million in fines from the Environmental Protection Agency for running afoul the Clean Water Act.
His violation? In 2012, Mr. Johnson built a stock pond for his horses and cattle on his 8-acre property in Fort Bridger, Wyoming.
Even though the Clean Water Act exempts stock ponds, and Mr. Johnson had obtained the necessary state permits, the EPA ordered him in January 2014 to restore the area to its original condition or accumulate fines of $37,500 a day. Instead, Mr. Johnson hired a lawyer.
“The EPA is out to expand its power, and I’m a test case,” said Mr. Johnson in a statement. “We’re going to fight them all the way.”
Last week, his attorneys — including the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Budd-Falen law firm in Cheyenne — filed a lawsuit against the agency to stop it from enforcing the compliance order.
“The EPA’s double standard is mind-blowing,” said PLF staff attorney Jonathan Wood in a statement after the motion was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Wyoming.
He referred to the torrent of wastewater accidentally released Aug. 5 by an EPA-led team from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, which contaminated water supplies along the Animas River in Colorado and New Mexico’s San Juan River.
“This is the same agency that just created a toxic mess in Colorado’s Animas River, with no accountability for the blundering bureaucracy,” said Mr. Wood. “But here they are, threatening Andy Johnson with astronomical fines, for building an environmentally beneficial stock pond that actually purifies the water that runs through it.”
Although stock ponds are specifically excluded from the Clean Water Act, the EPA argued that Mr. Johnson had violated federal law by constructing a dam on Six Mile Creek, which runs through his property, in order to fill the stock pond. …
His tab now exceeds $16 million, but EPA spokeswoman Julia P. Valentine told the Casper Star Tribune that the agency has made no final determination regarding financial penalties.
Mr. Johnson said he filed the lawsuit after months of negotiations with federal officials ran aground.
Kudos to the Johnson family and the Pacific Legal Foundation for helping them fight this outrageous effort by this rogue agency.
Could there be any more perfect metaphor for Obama’s America than an out-of-control federal agency, run by radical, liberty-hating leftists v. a family farmer named Andy Johnson?
Let me take this opportunity to remind the low information, emotionally-driven pinheads who voted for Jackass-in-Chief Obama that this sort of BS is what you voted for. Proud?