Google+

Wyoming Landowner Wins Battle With EPA Over Stock Pond

 

Wyoming Landowner Wins Battle With EPA Over Stock Pond

By Burt Carey

All Andy Johnson wanted was a small pond to provide water for his cattle. What he got was a $16 million fine from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Johnson, a professional welder who owns a 9-acre cattle farm in Fort Bridger, Wyo., received Andy Johnson, $16 million dollar fine, Fort Bridger, Wyoming, EPA, Pacific Legal Foundation, victory for common sense, win for the environment, fight for what you believe inpermits from the state to build a 40×300-foot pond on an existing stream in 2012. When he built the pond the following year, the federal EPA threatened him with fines of up to $37,500 per day if he didn’t drain and dismantle it.

With help from the Pacific Legal Foundation, Johnson took the EPA to court. This week the federal agency settled the case. The settlement, approved by a federal judge, does not concede any federal jurisdiction to regulate the pond and removed all of the fines. It further allows Johnson to keep his pond so long as he adds willow trees and fencing to control cattle movements near it.

“This is a victory for common sense and the environment, and it brings an end to all the uncertainty and fear that the Johnson family faced,” said Jonathan Wood, a staff attorney with PLF who represented Johnson. Local counsel Dan Frank, Karen Budd-Falen, and Maegan Woita of Mountain States Legal Foundation, as well as Ray Kagel of Kagel Environmental, LLC, assisted the PLF.

Kagel, a former federal regulator, said the pond is a benefit to the environment. It created wetlands, habitat for fish and wildlife, and cleans the water that passes through it. Rather than showing gratitude for creating all of these environmental benefits, the federal government accused Johnson of violating the Clean Water Act.

For nearly two years, Johnson tried to explain that he had done nothing wrong. Ultimately, he had to sue the EPA, represented by PLF and local counsel, arguing that the order was illegal because “stock ponds” like his are expressly exempt from the Clean Water Act. Additionally, he challenged the government’s assertion of jurisdiction. Under Supreme Court precedent, the federal government can regulate waters only if they have a “significant nexus” to navigable waters. Johnson’s pond drains to a manmade irrigation ditch, where the water is used for agriculture.

“You can imagine how terrifying it must be to receive such an order,” said Wood. “In an instant, Andy Johnson’s future, and that of his children, was thrown into turmoil. Would he be prosecuted? Would he be assessed large fines that, being an ordinary person, would cause his family’s financial ruin? Would the government essentially take control over his property, which was also his home?”

“This settlement is a win for the Johnson family, and a win for the environment,” said Wood. “Under it, the Johnsons will pay no fine. They will not lose their property. They will not have to agree to federal jurisdiction or a federal permit, which would have surely entailed onerous conditions. In effect, the government will treat the pond as an exempt stock pond, in exchange for Andy further improving on the environmental benefits he has already created.

“This is a huge victory for us as well as private property owners across the country,” said Johnson. “The next family that finds itself in our situation, facing ominous threats from EPA, can take heart in knowing that many of these threats will not come to pass. If, like us, you stand up to the overreaching bureaucrats, they may very well back down. If we could say anything to the EPA, this was about more than just a pond. This was about a family of good, hard-working Americans that were willing to fight to the end for what they believed in!”

Source:  Baret News

Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds Is Simply Sublime as Irreverent Superhero

  Deadpool DVD Review by Kam Williams Ryan Reynolds Is Simply Sublime as Irreverent Superhero Technically, Deadpool is the 8th installment in the X-Men film franchise, although it's  different enough from the others to stand on its own. In fact, it's not only the first R-rated offering in the Marvel Comics series, but the first humor-driven episode to boot. The movie marks the daring directorial debut of Tim Miller who deserves … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

Is Buying a Hobby Farm in Your Future?

  Is Buying a Hobby Farm in Your Future? By Burt Carey More and more Americans are escaping big city or suburb life for one in the country on their own 40 acres, trading traffic and honking horns for the quieter, simpler life of a farmer. They’ve traded business apparel for denim, floppy hats and boots. Buying a hobby farm can be exhilarating and frustrating all at the same time, even for the most prepared among us. Here are some … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Apprentice Winner Explains His Opposition to Trump Candidacy

  Dr. Randal Pinkett The “Donald Trump” Interview with Kam Williams Apprentice Winner Explains His Opposition to Trump Candidacy Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business and technology. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management consulting and information technology … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Breaking It in Right

  Breaking It in Right by Don Dingman Host, Hook The Future   It's always an adventure with my Carolina Skiff. I had just picked up my new 218 DLV, with a Mercury 150 4-stroke and a Float-On Trailer. But it was time to break in the engine and do a shakedown on the boat, so we hit the road shooting a new season of episodes for Hook The Future. I couldn't wait to get on the water and loaded the boat with a little bit … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Steph Curry Becomes First NBA Player Ever to Win MVP Award Unanimously

  Steph Curry Becomes First NBA Player Ever to Win MVP Award Unanimously By Burt Carey Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award a record six times. Michael Jordan and Bill Russell accomplished the feat five times, and Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James have four MVP awards in their trophy cases. And yet none of them nor any other MVP accomplished what Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has done in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Wyoming Landowner Wins Battle With EPA Over Stock Pond

  Wyoming Landowner Wins Battle With EPA Over Stock Pond By Burt Carey All Andy Johnson wanted was a small pond to provide water for his cattle. What he got was a $16 million fine from the Environmental Protection Agency. Johnson, a professional welder who owns a 9-acre cattle farm in Fort Bridger, Wyo., received permits from the state to build a 40x300-foot pond on an existing stream in 2012. When he built the pond the following … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding the Best Summer Travel Deals

  Finding the Best Summer Travel Deals By Burt Carey Experts say there are three important elements to finding excellent summer travel destinations that help you avoid the crowds at mega-resorts without getting ripped off. They are: Watch out for hidden charges; look for off-season deals on cruises; and pick tourist destinations other vacationers avoid during summer. Sounds easy, right? Here are some great tips to go with … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

The “Studiers” Need to Study Something Worthwhile

  The “Studiers” Need to Study Something Worthwhile by Amy Lignor   The environment, and keeping said environment clean, depends on a great deal of things. Most especially we need teamwork that comes from every man, woman and, yes, dog. Just like every man and woman, of course, the dog should get a little love when it comes to thanking them for all the work they do. Yet from Psychology Today came results of a new study that … [Read More its Good for You...]