It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

EPA targets couple's private pond in Wyoming, threatens huge fines...

page: 1
7
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 08:57 AM
link   
It would appear this is yet another step in in the continuing oppression by the government of those that would seek to better their land and quality of life. Sick of these stories of folks getting hard handed into a situation....this one was even approved previously and they have the docs to prove it.



When Andy and Katie Johnson built a pond on their property in 2011 to provide water for their cattle, they never dreamed it would result in threats of $75,000 a day in fines from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Johnsons believed they had done everything necessary to get permission for the pond, where the tiny Six Mile Creek runs through their property south of Fort Bridger, Wyo. The Wyoming State Engineer's Office provided the permit and even stated in an April 4, 2013 letter to the Johnsons: "All of the legal requirements of the State Engineer's Office, that were your responsibility, have been satisfied for the Johnson Stock Reservoir."


So they have all the docs to show they got the pond approved, yet the EPA decides to waste tax dollars to try to make them backfill the pond.

What is sad is it would seem the EPA doesn't even know what they are talking about according to the report. The pond is not leeching from any creek or stream and the couple has not seen anyone doing soil/water samples yet have done them on their own and show that it has improved the water running off. It has also created a small eco-system around the lake bringing wildlife to the area that previously was not there.



"I believe that the EPA does need to regulate industry and the bigger projects," Andy Johnson conceded, "but my little pristine stock pond, I believe, is a waste of our taxpayer money for them to come after me. It's a waste of my time, it's a waste of my money and we're going to fight it."

In their notice, the EPA cited the couple for "the discharge of pollutants (i.e., dredged or fill material) into the waters of the United States," for building a dam and for not getting a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Andy Johnson denies the project caused any pollution. "It's all an assumption. There's been no soil samples done, there's been no water samples done."

The Johnsons have since had their own testing done which they say shows that the water leaving the pond is cleaner than the water entering it. They also say that, far from damaging the environment, the pond has improved it.

"Before we didn't have ducks and geese. ... Now you can see bald eagles here, we have moose come down. We have blue herons that come in every evening. Before we did this ... it was basically just a little irrigation canal."


Source

The EPA is trying to force them to comply with heavy fines, essentially bankrupting them. So they are fighting it, but at what cost? The EPA is tax funded so there is no cost to them, the cost is on the tax payers. These nice folks have to spend their hard earned money not only to help pay the taxes that are funding the EPA but also for an attorney to fight this injustice.

I would not be surprised if this turned into another "land grab" type of standoff with the supporters of this farm taking up arms to defend it. Sounds like the EPA is trying to control the watershed and in turn control the land.
edit on 5/20/14 by Vasa Croe because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:13 AM
link   
a reply to: Vasa Croe

This is an old story that has already been discussed here on ATS some time ago. You can find the original thread here; www.abovetopsecret.com...

Here's my original response to the story that I still stand behind today;




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 20-5-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-5-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:19 AM
link   
Here is a related story about just how out of control the EPA is in Wyoming right now. This seems ridiculous. Why are all these federal agencies involved in the land grabs? Is it the resources or something else?



In 2005, David Hamilton of Worland (population 5,500), in north-central Wyoming, cleaned out an irrigation ditch on his 400-acre farm. Mr. Johnson and his wife may have put their “blood, sweat and tears into [their] dream” of a stock pond, but Mr. Hamilton spent $30,000 hauling away discarded cars, broken appliances and assorted debris that lined the ditch to foil erosion, and made other agricultural improvements. The project was a success, but the EPA disagreed. In 2007, its agents showed up on the farm and in 2010, the agency sued Mr. Hamilton in federal court.
The EPA claimed Mr. Hamilton destroyed 8.8 acres of wetlands, an impossibility given that Worland records the least rainfall in Wyoming — less than 8 inches a year. Facts did not matter to the EPA. instead, it relied on the National Wetlands Inventory — prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using Google Earth satellite images — to target the landowner and to tally wetlands damaged. Unfortunately, when Mr. Hamilton’s attorney, Harriet M. Hageman, challenged the EPA, the district court ruled that “Slick Creek,” which is actually Mr. Hamilton’s irrigation ditch, is “navigable waters of the United States,” as “a matter of law.”



So they are using the "navigable waters" excuse now? So any creek that runs in anyone's property could essentially be deemed "navigable waters" I'm guessing? They say this after this man hauled off materials as large as cars and appliances....so was the EPA using cars and appliances to navigate these "navigable waters"?



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:22 AM
link   
I have noticed a growing trend of our government to squeeze the ownership of valuable land from the private citizen to the government coffers through a bunch of trumped up false charges and fines, essentially bankrupting the owners.
Why does our government want to take ownership and control of the land away from the citizens?
It's obvious- at least to me- that private ownership of large parcels of land by private citizens is being fazed out.
I think cities should be renamed 'Reservations'.......that is where they're trying to 'coral' us.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:23 AM
link   

originally posted by: Flatfish
a reply to: Vasa Croe

This is an old story that has already been discussed here on ATS some time ago. You can find the original thread here; EPA targets couple's private pond in Wyoming, threatens huge fines... - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...

Here's my original response to the story that I still stand behind today;




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.




Your link goes back to this thread, and according to the report I guess there must be updates since whatever thread there was on it before because it clearly states in the report:



The EPA says Six Mile Creek runs into Black Forks River which runs into the Green River -- which it calls a "navigable, interstate water of the United States."

The Johnsons and their attorney say Six Mile Creek has long been diverted about 300 yards below their property into a man-made canal used for irrigation.

"There is no connection to the river," Andy Johnson maintains.


So their pond has no connection to the creek. The only thing the EPA could possibly be worried about is run-off and the family has had the water and soil tested with the test coming back that it is cleaner than when it went in.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:27 AM
link   
And again we have the government say, that is a pretty nice thing these people have done that we can't seem to do for the environment so before anyone else gets the same idea we will have to put a stop to it. These people have done something good for themselves and their land, for the wildlife in the area and did it the, " legal" way and still have to put up with this kind of nonsense from our government.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:31 AM
link   
Just because they "believe" that the EPA is wasting tax dollars investigating their dam, that does not give them a free pass.

They diverted a water way, which obviously requires the approval of the EPA. Ignorance of the law does not give you a free pass.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:37 AM
link   

originally posted by: muse7
Just because they "believe" that the EPA is wasting tax dollars investigating their dam, that does not give them a free pass.

They diverted a water way, which obviously requires the approval of the EPA. Ignorance of the law does not give you a free pass.


Guessing you didn't read the article....they didn't divert anything.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:39 AM
link   

originally posted by: Vasa Croe

Your link goes back to this thread, and according to the report I guess there must be updates since whatever thread there was on it before because it clearly states in the report:


Sorry, I fixed that. My bad.


originally posted by: Vasa Croe


The EPA says Six Mile Creek runs into Black Forks River which runs into the Green River -- which it calls a "navigable, interstate water of the United States."

The Johnsons and their attorney say Six Mile Creek has long been diverted about 300 yards below their property into a man-made canal used for irrigation.

"There is no connection to the river," Andy Johnson maintains.


So their pond has no connection to the creek. The only thing the EPA could possibly be worried about is run-off and the family has had the water and soil tested with the test coming back that it is cleaner than when it went in.


The fact that his pond has the potential to overflow back into the stream and according to your source article, into what is now an irrigation canal is a big problem and it's against the law. Has been for a long time too. What is that water going to irrigate? Crops? Livestock?

The guy just messed up. He should have just built his pond independent of the stream and with it's own water source.

No EPA overreach. No Govt. land grab.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:44 AM
link   
a reply to: Flatfish

Apparently his pond IS independent of the stream. I have seen nothing that says it does not have its own water source either.

He has the paperwork, which was approved, that allowed him to build it. Burden of proof for his pond causing any issues should be on the EPA prior to their fining the land owner and filling this pond. The land owner seems to have taken precautions of having his own tests done on the run-off and soil and says they come back clean.

I see this as the EPA trying to over-extend it's reach and bully a land owner into submission.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:57 AM
link   
a reply to: Vasa Croe



Why are all these federal agencies involved in the land grabs?

What land grabs? If you are referring to the BLM they have grabbed no ones land that land was public land. This guy did divert the water for his pond that is what the dam was for.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:01 AM
link   

originally posted by: muse7
Just because they "believe" that the EPA is wasting tax dollars investigating their dam, that does not give them a free pass.

They diverted a water way, which obviously requires the approval of the EPA. Ignorance of the law does not give you a free pass.


I think it says that they did not divert any natural water source.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:01 AM
link   

originally posted by: Vasa Croe
a reply to: Flatfish

Apparently his pond IS independent of the stream. I have seen nothing that says it does not have its own water source either.

He has the paperwork, which was approved, that allowed him to build it. Burden of proof for his pond causing any issues should be on the EPA prior to their fining the land owner and filling this pond. The land owner seems to have taken precautions of having his own tests done on the run-off and soil and says they come back clean.

I see this as the EPA trying to over-extend it's reach and bully a land owner into submission.


Sounds to me like you should do a little more investigating.

www.foxnews.com...

But Johnson may be in for a rude awakening.

The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond -- a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife -- which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.


What we have here is just another Bundy-like land owner who thinks that his actions are exempt from federal law and nothing more.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:04 AM
link   

originally posted by: buster2010
a reply to: Vasa Croe



Why are all these federal agencies involved in the land grabs?

What land grabs? If you are referring to the BLM they have grabbed no ones land that land was public land. This guy did divert the water for his pond that is what the dam was for.


If they fine him and take over his land because of bankruptcy I would call that a land grab. I still have not found a story that said he diverted anything via a dam. Sure a dam was built, but that dam could also be what is holding the water from his pond from overflow INTO the creek below. Nothing anywhere about him diverting anything via a dam FROM the creek.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:05 AM
link   
In the source video one can obviously see there is no problem with the water coming out of the pond especially sediments, on the contrary the pond itself gives a place for sediments to settle which is good for downstream waters.


The Wyoming State Engineer's Office provided the permit and even stated in an April 4, 2013 letter to the Johnsons: "All of the legal requirements of the State Engineer's Office, that were your responsibility, have been satisfied for the Johnson Stock Reservoir."


These folks did what was required to build the stock pond and were told by their state government authority to proceed as ALL requirements were met.

Also from the source video one can learn that the "navigable waterway the EPA cites, the "Green River" is over 100 miles away - there is no way no how this pond could ever effect the Green River as the EPA contends.

One has to speculate a bit about why the EPA felt need to manufacture a ridiculous claim about affecting a river 100 miles away in order to mess with these folks.

Seems to me they are using these folks for a test case to start making these claims anywhere anytime no matter what against landowners no matter how far from so-called navigable waters - if the precedence is set no one is safe from the federal governments whims on land use and improvements.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:07 AM
link   

originally posted by: Flatfish

originally posted by: Vasa Croe
a reply to: Flatfish

Apparently his pond IS independent of the stream. I have seen nothing that says it does not have its own water source either.

He has the paperwork, which was approved, that allowed him to build it. Burden of proof for his pond causing any issues should be on the EPA prior to their fining the land owner and filling this pond. The land owner seems to have taken precautions of having his own tests done on the run-off and soil and says they come back clean.

I see this as the EPA trying to over-extend it's reach and bully a land owner into submission.


Sounds to me like you should do a little more investigating.

www.foxnews.com...

But Johnson may be in for a rude awakening.

The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond -- a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife -- which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.


What we have here is just another Bundy-like land owner who thinks that his actions are exempt from federal law and nothing more.


Funny that in that same story the EPA would directly contradict itself saying...



The EPA order on Jan. 30 gave Johnson 30 days to hire a consultant and have him or her assess the impact of the supposed unauthorized discharges. The report was also supposed to include a restoration proposal to be approved by the EPA as well as contain a schedule requiring all work be completed within 60 days of the plan's approval.


So is the dam diverting a creek or holding his pond from overflow? The way the article reads with the EPA's order sounds more like it is a dam on his own pond keeping it from overflow and they want to make sure there are no unauthorized discharges.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:12 AM
link   

originally posted by: Vasa Croe
It would appear this is yet another step in in the continuing oppression by the government of those that would seek to better their land and quality of life. Sick of these stories of folks getting hard handed into a situation....this one was even approved previously and they have the docs to prove it.



When Andy and Katie Johnson built a pond on their property in 2011 to provide water for their cattle, they never dreamed it would result in threats of $75,000 a day in fines from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Johnsons believed they had done everything necessary to get permission for the pond, where the tiny Six Mile Creek runs through their property south of Fort Bridger, Wyo. The Wyoming State Engineer's Office provided the permit and even stated in an April 4, 2013 letter to the Johnsons: "All of the legal requirements of the State Engineer's Office, that were your responsibility, have been satisfied for the Johnson Stock Reservoir."


So they have all the docs to show they got the pond approved, yet the EPA decides to waste tax dollars to try to make them backfill the pond.

What is sad is it would seem the EPA doesn't even know what they are talking about according to the report. The pond is not leeching from any creek or stream and the couple has not seen anyone doing soil/water samples yet have done them on their own and show that it has improved the water running off. It has also created a small eco-system around the lake bringing wildlife to the area that previously was not there.



"I believe that the EPA does need to regulate industry and the bigger projects," Andy Johnson conceded, "but my little pristine stock pond, I believe, is a waste of our taxpayer money for them to come after me. It's a waste of my time, it's a waste of my money and we're going to fight it."

In their notice, the EPA cited the couple for "the discharge of pollutants (i.e., dredged or fill material) into the waters of the United States," for building a dam and for not getting a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Andy Johnson denies the project caused any pollution. "It's all an assumption. There's been no soil samples done, there's been no water samples done."

The Johnsons have since had their own testing done which they say shows that the water leaving the pond is cleaner than the water entering it. They also say that, far from damaging the environment, the pond has improved it.

"Before we didn't have ducks and geese. ... Now you can see bald eagles here, we have moose come down. We have blue herons that come in every evening. Before we did this ... it was basically just a little irrigation canal."


Source

The EPA is trying to force them to comply with heavy fines, essentially bankrupting them. So they are fighting it, but at what cost? The EPA is tax funded so there is no cost to them, the cost is on the tax payers. These nice folks have to spend their hard earned money not only to help pay the taxes that are funding the EPA but also for an attorney to fight this injustice.

I would not be surprised if this turned into another "land grab" type of standoff with the supporters of this farm taking up arms to defend it. Sounds like the EPA is trying to control the watershed and in turn control the land.


There is oil under that ground.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:16 AM
link   
a reply to: Flatfish




What we have here is just another Bundy-like land owner who thinks that his actions are exempt from federal law and nothing more.


There's not a shred of comparison!

This is not BLM land, there no "grazing" dispute or other use of so-called federal land, nor is dingy harry involved in a solar deal with Chinese interests.

Do you have any opinion regards just how this pond can effect a waterway over 100 miles distant - I'd like to understand that!

As I see it right now its looking like a federal bureaucracy run amuk and using excuses that border on strange and ridiculous to justify their involvement.
edit on 20-5-2014 by Phoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:19 AM
link   

originally posted by: Vasa Croe

originally posted by: muse7
Just because they "believe" that the EPA is wasting tax dollars investigating their dam, that does not give them a free pass.

They diverted a water way, which obviously requires the approval of the EPA. Ignorance of the law does not give you a free pass.


Guessing you didn't read the article....they didn't divert anything.


The guy dammed up a creek in order to get it to fill his pond. Once the pond gets full, the water continues to flow over his dam and back into the original stream. That's called diversion.

People often put various chemicals and/or invasive species of fish and plants in there ponds for a number of reasons. Some people put dye in the water to make it look pretty. Some people put different aquatic plants, some of which are very invasive if allowed to escape into other waterways. Some people put certain species of fish in their ponds that have also been determined to be invasive and stringent guidelines must be met prior to their introduction and before approval is granted.

If had had dug out a pond separate and away from the stream and placed a windmill there to supply it with an independent source of water, I doubt seriously he would be facing these problems today.

This guy, for whatever reason and much like Cliven Bundy, just feels like he doesn't have to recognize or obey federal law.

When it's all said and done, I'll just bet it's the EPA who gets the last laugh and rightly so.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 10:21 AM
link   
But, only the EPA is qualified to say it is good for the environment. In this case, the EPA has not even produced any evidence or proven any negative effects, but that doesn't matter. Maybe it is working much better than what they overlook, they can't have that. Seems that the EPA making statements without even testing is not science at all, it is a bunch of control freaks up high that want to force their ideology down others throats. I would give some credit to the EPA if they had actual evidence. I also know that this evidence should also coincide with their regulated projects. Right now, their projects are not producing the desired effects on the environment that they should be half the time. But, they can fudge the factors to make them look better than they are.

I like the Fish and Wildlife service the best of these groups. Those people actually go out into the woods and interact with nature. I bet half the big wheels in the EPA have not even spent much time in the forest or at the streams in the wood to observe nature. How can you be in charge of regulating nature if you learned about nature from a book. Some of the workers on the bottom at the EPA know about nature, but most are overeducated idiots.

It is not like these people were doing this because they were trying to get away with something. They thought they had taken care of all they needed to take care of. I agree that we need the EPA but I think that some at the top are just flexing their muscles and their actions are unfounded. The government is supposed to work with honest people, not trash or ignore them if they are not big money. It seems that the State of Wyoming shares fault with this also, and they should be siding with this guy to make sure that the EPA is kept in check. I do not have much respect for the EPA, they allow major pollution to occur as long as industry pays fees to their program. Pay the bribe and you can do what you want. The EPA is not protecting nature nor is it in the best interest of the citizens of this country most times. I Was reading some of their tactics as to dealing with mines. If the mine doesn't pay off the bribe, the fines get higher. My cousin used to work as a mine inspector, he informed me what they do. He wasn't a conspiracy theorist at all, he just said that is how it works. Knowing the rules of the game by the mine inspectors is crucial to your continued employment. This is not top secret, the regulations can be found on the net very easily if you actually search for them, from there you just have to know how to apply the knowledge. Talk to a mine inspector or someone at the bottom...regular workers know what is going on and will talk to a certain point, as long as it does not jeopardize their employment or pension.



new topics

top topics



 
7
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join