Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property

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posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.

But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine.

“I have not paid them a dime nor will I,” a defiant Johnson told FoxNews.com. “I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream.”


Fox News Source

I find this disgusting that a man can't build a pond on his own property without being threatened by the EPA. Our Government is getting totally out of control.




posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


Correct me if I'm wrong but It doesn't state in the article whether the owner has actually built a dam or diverted a downstream creek for this pond or not.

I understand the rage of the owner if his pond is entirely man-made and is not diverting water from going downstream, but in my parts, there are huge legal battles between farmers when one decides to dam water on his property for his livestock alone...



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:07 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


Those fines don't seem excessive at all......


+3 more 
posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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jhn7537
reply to post by Metallicus
 


Those fines don't seem excessive at all......


No kidding.

$75 a day is too much...never mind the additional 3 zeroes.

The EPA is crazy and so is this Government.
edit on 2014/3/14 by Metallicus because: Sp


+4 more 
posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


I guess he'll just have to tear down the damn and bring in some beavers and release them up and downstream.

If they want to play games then we'll just show them our rule book.

Rule no. 1: There are no rules.
Rule no. 2: See rule no. 1
edit on 14-3-2014 by TheLieWeLive because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:13 PM
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TheLieWeLive
reply to post by Metallicus
 


I guess he'll just have to tear down the damn and bring in some beavers and release them upstream.

If they want to play games then we'll just show them our rule book.

Rule no. 1: There are no rules.
Rule no. 2: See rule no. 1


That is a great idea. I love your creativity!

ETA: I hope they don't decide you can be fined for having beavers on your property. Can you imagine if you have to pay to relocate beavers?

edit on 2014/3/14 by Metallicus because: ETA



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:16 PM
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He should build ten more ponds...

Make the fees skyrocket and sit back and watch the PR disaster unfold...



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:24 PM
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....building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers


No one a bit concerned the military is handling civilian state business?, what is the military doing in a democratic nation controlling permits exactly?



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by Bellor
 


No kidding. Why would the military be involved in domestic affairs?

Also, who gave the EPA the following powers? Who gives Government the right to interfere in private property? I don't recall that power being in the Constitution or even that an EPA should be created.


The proposed changes would give the agency a say in ponds, lakes, wetlands and any stream -- natural or manmade -- that would have an effect on downstream navigable waters on both public land and private property. “If the compliance order stands as an example of how EPA intends to operate after completing its current ‘waters of the United States’ rulemaking, it should give pause to each and every landowner throughout the country,” the letter states.
edit on 2014/3/14 by Metallicus because: Fix



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:30 PM
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the people need to stand up to this kind of threat....so we cannot raise our kids without the government sticking there big nose in,we cannot do what we please on our land......what a sad place this world is becoming



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


Its almost as though they want to control over land access routes that are not roads to......I dunno, put up checkpoints maybe?, just in case it comes to that, probably best they make it legal while they still can.

Scary.


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posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:40 PM
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Goldcurrent
reply to post by Metallicus
 

Correct me if I'm wrong but It doesn't state in the article whether the owner has actually built a dam or diverted a downstream creek for this pond or not.
I understand the rage of the owner if his pond is entirely man-made and is not diverting water from going downstream, but in my parts, there are huge legal battles between farmers when one decides to dam water on his property for his livestock alone...


You are correct.

He has built a dam across the creek to build his pond. Thereby keeping water from the land owners down stream.

The land owners down stream though did not go running to Fox to get their face on TV.

He gets the "poor me", "victim" celebrity status. The land owners down stream get........No Water.

But it's far more fun to blame the "GUBMINT" than think rationally.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:50 PM
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The Army Corp of Engineers is directly involved a lot watershed and civil engineering endeavours related to canals, dams, and flood protection throughout your country. They took a lot of flak for not being more pro-active in preventing the flood in New Orleans. In fact a quarter of hydro-power falls under the umbrella of this branch...It would seem this particular district is overseen by a branch of Army Corps.

However $75,000 a day for non-compliance seems just a tad overblown haha..

Did you know that even the rain water you collect in barrels on your property is most likely NOT your property but of the watershed authorities? Bizarre eh??

This is done to ensure one particular landowner does not hoard all the water at the source, and it can flow naturally to those downstream as well.. there is a method to the madness.
edit on 14-3-2014 by Goldcurrent because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


Sorry, but it sounds to me like the main issue here is the fact that he chose to build a dam on the creek that is providing water to his pond instead of coming up with his own independent source of water, like a water-well with a windmill.

Anytime someone decides to interfere with the flow of a natural stream and/or river, it's has a direct affect on anyone who is downstream and I'd just bet that it was one of these affected people who called the EPA on him to begin with.

I know that I had to have my pond inspected prior to being permitted to add triploid carp years ago. Even though the triploid carp is sterile and incapable of reproduction, they wanted to insure that my pond could not overflow it's banks allowing the carp to escape into other waterways. In other words, if there's a chance that whatever is in your pond could escape, leak and/or contaminate other wetlands, you have a problem.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I had to have my pond inspected some 10yrs. prior to Obama even considering a run for POTUS?

Nothing new or unjust here.
edit on 14-3-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 06:14 PM
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Im a welder myself and it were me, I'd weld their damn car doors shut while the wife shows a little T&A with a bit of that flirty charm going on explaining Im at work but yall can come in for a minute



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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It seems that there is some confusion here in this thread, and the Fox article is lacking in some pertinent info. While Andy Johnson did have a permit from the local authorities, the design of his pond may or may not be in violation of section 404. I agree that the $75,000 a day fines are draconian, and since the man was told by local authorities that he would not need an EPA permit, and since two US senators intervened on his behalf unsuccessfully, I wonder exactly what the EPA's issue with this pond is? Stock and agricultural ponds are clear exemptions to the section 404 rules, unless it results in discharge of dredged or fill material. Now it is entirely possible that the EPA is alleging such a thing, but my problem with that would be that the EPA should have to prove such an accusation, not the other way around.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by azdaze
 


All this guy has to do is hire a consultant to recommend solutions to rectify a few issues. He most likely violated some downstream volume bylaws, and failed to contain the pond runoff properly.

National news this is not...



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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I can see why. I had a friend build an attached car-port to get his car out of the rain and snow. But because it was attached to his house by the gutters, he had to tear it down.

He did not have a permit to build it. (Which also allows the gov to inspect it for code issues.) That to me is understandable.

Same thing with the pond. Shouldve just got a building permit, have it inspected and everything would have been fine.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 07:03 PM
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azdaze
Stock and agricultural ponds are clear exemptions to the section 404 rules, unless it results in discharge of dredged or fill material. Now it is entirely possible that the EPA is alleging such a thing, but my problem with that would be that the EPA should have to prove such an accusation, not the other way around.


Exactly. $75,000/day fine on one private lot is clear EXTORTION.

Wyomingians need to pursue class action against EPA extorting civilians and then execs pocketing all that cash thru office 'expenses' !
edit on 14-3-2014 by gardener because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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Look. He's a homeowner, landowner and welder by trade. You KNOW he knew he needed a permit and inpection-to-code.

The real question is why did he think he could skirt local zoning rules and inspections?

He lives in that county and state, he knew he needed it, and he zipped past any laws. I dont feel sorry for him.

PS The fines are WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY excessive for sure. To be "wrong" shouldnt be "expensive".
edit on 09-22-2013 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)





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