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

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posted on May, 20 2014 @ 04:57 PM
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www.foxnews.com... well i guess the epa may have been singeling out conservatives too just like the irs.....


A second federal agency is facing a probe and accusations of political bias over its alleged targeting of conservative groups. The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests -- allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones. The allegations are under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is also holding hearings on the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups.


dailycaller.com...


A conservative environmental law group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its alleged “IRS-like” tactics, including stone-walling federal records requests and imposing fees on conservative groups that sought government records.


water.epa.gov... exemptions to epa regulations at this link

www.theorganicprepper.ca...


The Republican lawmakers sent a March 12 letter to Nancy Stoner, the EPA’s acting assistant administration for water, saying they were “troubled” by Johnson’s case and demanding the EPA withdraw the compliance order. “Rather than a sober administration of the Clean Water Act, the Compliance Order reads like a draconian edict of a heavy-handed bureaucracy,” the letter states. The letter also questions the EPA’s claim that Johnson’s pond is actually a dam: “Fairness and due process require the EPA base its compliance order on more than an assumption,” they wrote. “Instead of treating Mr. Johnson as guilty until he proves his innocence by demonstrating his entitlement to the Clean Water Act section 404 (f)(1)(C) stock pond exemption, EPA should make its case that a dam was built and that the Section 404 exemption does not apply. “If the compliance order stands as an example of how EPA intends to operate after completing its current ‘waters of the United States’ rule-making, it should give pause to each and every landowner throughout the country.” Johnson said his battle with the EPA is serving as a learning experience for his children: -


well his state lawmakers are backing him so that is good ,and every one seems to be questioning the EPA calling his pond a "dam"

www.deseretnews.com... this seems to have a photo of his pond(dont see a dam in the photo) and comments in the article describe his Pond as 2 feet wide by 6 inches deep (dont know how he got this info as i cant find it in any articles just in the comment section)
www.fws.gov... tool to map wetlands and water sources around his property (you have to put in his address which i wont post here due to t and c but you can find it if you look)
msc.fema.gov... you can use this and put in his address to see the flood plane info for his land

www.epw.senate.gov... pdf of the order sent to the man with the pond from epa and could clarify the dam vs pond issue,evidently the army corps of engineers have already inspected the site (didnt see that stated in any of the other articles) and it seems to hinge on what happened to the dirt from the HOLE he dug for the pond(12 cubic meteres) that ended up in the creek and i think the army corps of engineers are the ones that alerted the epa(if i read the article right) the above is the epa's side of the story and it seems some representatives in his state have a problem with it as well

quick question,if he had captured and imported beavers and had them build the dam could the government make him move it then? (only added to try to add some humor to the thread)




posted on May, 20 2014 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: kruphix

Actually it was earlier stated that no water was diverted but all youy government hawks are not understanding this because you see another crazy right wing wacko.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 08:20 PM
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originally posted by: yuppa
a reply to: kruphix

Actually it was earlier stated that no water was diverted but all youy government hawks are not understanding this because you see another crazy right wing wacko.



The article says otherwise.

I don't care what people in this thread say, I don't get my information from them. The article clearly says that he has damned the creek to fill up his pond and now the creek runs through his pond. That is diverting the natural waterway.

Maybe you should get your information from articles about this situation instead of random people on the internet.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally the government passed these water way laws to stop ranchers from damning up creeks and river depriving there neighbors from access to water. These people did block the natural waterway and its illegal to do so. You wanna live in a anarchist paradise go live in Somalia.


He doesn't nor has he ever had the right or approval to damn up any creak.
edit on 20-5-2014 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)

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



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: Phoenix

You deflected by using examples you know are incomparable, lets try that again with a flow something like 2 or 3 cubic feet a second - now tell me ANY soil sediment at that flow rate will make it 100 miles and measurably impact the Green River - ya can't!! and neither can the EPA in any fashion that'll hold up in court.

The streams water entering the pond slows down and drops sediment from upstream, this guy is helping downstream matters rather than hurting them as is contended.


2 or 3 cubic feet per second, during a normal flow maybe. What happens when they have big rains? Rivers and streams are prone to flash floods when heavy rainfall is experienced upstream and when that happens, things get flushed out. Once those sediments reach the main river they can travel thousands of miles, which is exactly what is happening at the mouth of the Mississippi.



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:43 PM
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originally posted by: Flatfish


2 or 3 cubic feet per second, during a normal flow maybe. What happens when they have big rains? Rivers and streams are prone to flash floods when heavy rainfall is experienced upstream and when that happens, things get flushed out. Once those sediments reach the main river they can travel thousands of miles, which is exactly what is happening at the mouth of the Mississippi.


When they have big rains debris and soil from stream banks far upstream and downstream enter the flow obviously but the amount of silt from the pond itself if any is infinitely small and likely un-measurable 100 miles downstream, I am specifically referring to soil silts that were originally in the pond itself - not storm run-off introduced from outside the pond.

What you're describing would exist in this stream whether or not the pond existed at all. What you are talking about is material that would enter and then leave the pond and then blaming the ponds for it because it exists - do you see my problem with that logic?


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



posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:52 PM
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I wonder..... What would have greeted one of King George's men to have come and told a land owner in the colonies that he couldn't have a well or his pond where he wanted, because some environmental concern penned back in London said so?

Actually..I wonder how many would have to be sent before one got back to say where the previous ones disappeared to... (quiet laugh)..different times then.

This should be a state issue though and the EPA is picking in a patch a bit thornier than they give credit for, I think. Folks in Wyoming make that 'Live Free or Die' line on the New Hampshire License Plate look like a light hearted sentiment in my opinion. It's kinda why many go to live in that very open state. Freedom from B.S..



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: kruphix

No one is claiming they are above the law. This guy went to the law first, his own state. If he was intent on snubbing the law, why would he work with them in the permit process before doing anything?

It's the confusion in the "law" that is at the heart of this discussion. He thought he had met the letter of the law because the "law" told him he was OK. Then comes a host of other agencies with more laws. Many of the laws are at odds with each other.

Almost any land owner at some point breaks some of the many laws of all these overlapping bureaucracies. They do so not out of malice or righteousness. They do it simply because no one can comprehend them all.

Does an intelligent solution suggest we keep slamming the public because they can't fight back? Do we keep letting wealthy entities get around the laws because they can afford to (e.g. think Corexit)? Do we let the expanding bureaucracies grow to the point there is nothing you do not scrutinized by them? These are the elements in play in this discussion.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: Phoenix

originally posted by: Flatfish


2 or 3 cubic feet per second, during a normal flow maybe. What happens when they have big rains? Rivers and streams are prone to flash floods when heavy rainfall is experienced upstream and when that happens, things get flushed out. Once those sediments reach the main river they can travel thousands of miles, which is exactly what is happening at the mouth of the Mississippi.


When they have big rains debris and soil from stream banks far upstream and downstream enter the flow obviously but the amount of silt from the pond itself if any is infinitely small and likely un-measurable 100 miles downstream, I am specifically referring to soil silts that were originally in the pond itself - not storm run-off introduced from outside the pond.

What you're describing would exist in this stream whether or not the pond existed at all. What you are talking about is material that would enter and then leave the pond and then blaming the ponds for it because it exists - do you see my problem with that logic?


Absolutely not!

You're correct that floods will occur in the stream with or without the the existence of the pond, but now that the pond is in place, everything the land owner puts in his private pond will be included in the run-off as the flood waters flow through and beyond it.

Furthermore, you're wrong about the silt in the pond staying put during a flood, especially small ponds. No different than the water in a coy pond that clears up every night when fountains and waterfalls are turned off and then immediately clouds back up as soon as their turned back on the next morning. Silt is light, soluble and easily stirred up and displaced during floods.

Private ponds should stay private and not be allowed to co-mingle with any streams, rivers, lakes or any other public water sources. It's just plain ole common sense and the land owner should have exercised a little bit of it prior to building his pond.

If anything, I would place part of the blame for his predicament on the permitting authorities in his own state for not at least alerting him to the fact that what he was fixing to do would require federal approval. If they had reviewed his plans and inspected the site prior to issuing his state permits, they should have immediately recognized the fact that he would also need approval from the EPA. Any state with a dam on any of it's rivers should know this.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:34 AM
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originally posted by: Flatfish



Absolutely not!

You're correct that floods will occur in the stream with or without the the existence of the pond, but now that the pond is in place, everything the land owner puts in his private pond will be included in the run-off as the flood waters flow through and beyond it.




Agreed!!! however the EPA cited "sediment" as the problem and including a hypothetical future "everything" put in the pond amounts to pre-crime and really does not bear on the issue brought forth in the source article - If the landowner later decides to put dioxin into the pond then I'm all for him being cited if and when though, but not before!





Furthermore, you're wrong about the silt in the pond staying put during a flood, especially small ponds. Silt is light, soluble and easily stirred up and displaced during floods.



I never said silt or sediment would stay put during a flood. What I did say was that the ACTUAL amount of silt or sediment from the pond itself displaced during a flood would be immeasurable 100 miles downstream. Further more its ridiculous for EPA to contend there would be any measurable effect upon a water way 100 miles downstream from any element already residing in nature. In any ordinary circumstance the pond actually helps settle sediments from upstream sources improving water quality at its discharge. The landowner did in fact get independent tests done at his expense on something actually measurable unlike the EPA who seems to be acting not on any real environmental issue but rather one based on control and usurpation of state authority.





Private ponds should stay private and not be allowed to co-mingle with any streams, rivers, lakes or any other public water sources. It's just plain ole common sense and the land owner should have exercised a little bit of it prior to building his pond.


From direct observation that's a pipe dream as I see few that meet your criteria.




If anything, I would place part of the blame for his predicament on the permitting authorities in his own state for not at least alerting him to the fact that what he was fixing to do would require federal approval. If they had reviewed his plans and inspected the site prior to issuing his state permits, they should have immediately recognized the fact that he would also need approval from the EPA. Any state with a dam on any of it's rivers should know this.



I disagree here, His state authority recognized common sense in my view by approving a project where it was readily apparent that no effect or impact was possible on a water way that fell under federal jurisdiction as none existed anywhere close to this landowners property.

To contend that sediment from the pond itself has any measurable effect on a distant water way 100 miles downstream flies in the face of any common sense - contending that however does support a view something like this,

If a drop of rain falls on a mountainside and ends up in a river 500 miles distant it falls under federal jurisdiction of navigable water ways. Sounds far fetched but boiled down this pretty much matches what's being attempted by EPA. Theoretically one can claim almost anything or justify any amount of control over the citizens, proving it is another matter that seems beyond this agencies abilities.

This agency along with possible cohorts is using the "butterfly effect" to impose it's will and control upon landowners.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: LDragonFire
Originally the government passed these water way laws to stop ranchers from damning up creeks and river depriving there neighbors from access to water. These people did block the natural waterway and its illegal to do so. You wanna live in a anarchist paradise go live in Somalia.


He doesn't nor has he ever had the right or approval to damn up any creak.



You might have had a point if this landowner was using the water for irrigation or some other use that removed the water from the source.

Unfortunately in this case, what flows in, flows right back out.

Nothing to do with anarchy or resource abuse here - its very clear in the source video that the stream is free flowing over the ponds pool.

The state of Wyoming approved this project and your claim of any right to do the project is just flat wrong both in claims of authority and in claims of disturbing downstream flow.
edit on 21-5-2014 by Phoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Phoenix


Agreed!!! however the EPA cited "sediment" as the problem and including a hypothetical future "everything" put in the pond amounts to pre-crime and really does not bear on the issue brought forth in the source article - If the landowner later decides to put dioxin into the pond then I'm all for him being cited if and when though, but not before!


It's not "pre-crime", it's prevention.

With environmental issues, prevention makes a whole lot more sense then waiting around for something to get screwed up and then trying to fix it.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:46 AM
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originally posted by: kruphix
a reply to: Phoenix


Agreed!!! however the EPA cited "sediment" as the problem and including a hypothetical future "everything" put in the pond amounts to pre-crime and really does not bear on the issue brought forth in the source article - If the landowner later decides to put dioxin into the pond then I'm all for him being cited if and when though, but not before!


It's not "pre-crime", it's prevention.

With environmental issues, prevention makes a whole lot more sense then waiting around for something to get screwed up and then trying to fix it.






That's right my friend, from this day forward lets just disregard the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Private property rights and 230 years of history or so and to make things simple for our esteemed and oh so trustworthy government,

We shall proclaim everyone guilty before proven innocent.

Since that little problem is taken care of it has been deemed that your electromagnetic emissions have endangered the rare bacterium "iwasintelligensiusoneuponatimus withgoodideaosiumillus untilifellinwithgovermetosium" the fine is $250,000 a day - pay up!!!! or lose everything.


Seriously folks some kind of reasonableness needs to apply to EPA as well as federal government as a whole. I certainly want a good environment for my children but also recognize that as things develop they'll have it at the cost of freedom as well.

I do not agree with that precept at all and think there are better ways than what's going on in this particular case which unfortunately has the possibility of setting dangerous precedents in favor of total federal government control of its citizens.

It is but a symptom of a far larger problem, one that needs to be addressed.

Do you see or hear EPA going after big pharma for Prozac in the waters or going after Monsanto for "round-up" pollution of the waters, nope! but these issues are of far greater impact than what may amount to parts in trillions of sediment washed downstream from this pond at issue with the EPA.

People, this is not about that pond - its about extending reach.


edit on 21-5-2014 by Phoenix because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-5-2014 by Phoenix because: add comments



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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Has anyone actually tried looking at the property of the parties involved?






According to the 20 ton satellite in space and geo-surveying that is accurate within inches the pond's dam was placed in a natural draw (aka a ditch)




This is the EXACT same type of pond that dot the landscape of farms across the nation. USGS and the local conservation department even blessed on two of these in the last decade for my parents and even stocked them for them.
edit on 21-5-2014 by Lipton because: (no reason given)


Note: I won't blast Andy and Katie's address on the internet, but it isn't all that difficult to find it and look at the above images via google maps yourself.
edit on 21-5-2014 by Lipton because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: Lipton

Good stuff.

I think I have seen about a hundred of those things too. I wonder what the issue is with this one?



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:13 PM
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a reply to: ABNARTY

The EPA looked at it and said to themselves...'Selves? THAT one really pisses us off!".

No word on how many, if any selves said more as this landowner is who got the full answer of having been noticed. On a state approved project too.

That 10th Amendment is something the feds have forgotten exists. They are sticklers on plenty of other parts when it suits them, but that 10th item on the list .....something or other to do with states powers..... just seems to elude them entirely.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:28 PM
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originally posted by: Flatfish

The reason the EPA is concerned with sediments is because of the fact that chemicals, fish eggs and/or plant seeds all get washed away right along with the sediments inviting the potential for downstream contamination.



A pond acts as a stilling or sediment basin on any creek. It actually does exactly the opposite of what you're worried about. The contaminants and sediments will settle in the pond and, unless the land owners want the pond filled in, will have to be dredged out by the land owners periodically. This material being dredged will be the consistancy of flour water paste, meaning it will have to be hauled away from the side of the creek or else it will simply dam the creek up worse.

From a biological engineering standpoint, there is NO downside to this pond and no negative impact on the ecosystem unless the creek is part of an anadromous fish containing system (Wyoming... hint: It isn't an anadromous stream) in which the pond could create a barrier to migrating fish. Otheriwse, they've created a wetland, which is wonderful in the eyes of virtually all federal agencies except the EPA. This is one of the great mysteries of the myriad of federal permits required for any sort of progress... The EPA, by law, can only enforce laws and policies Congress has passed and which fall into their scope of operations. This *should* limit the EPA to one single question where any waterway or body of water is concerned: "Will there be a polution problem?" Now, on any project the EPA certainly does demand an answer to that question, from noise polution and vibrational polution impacts on fish and aquatic critters to construction/demolition/drainage polutants being collected before they reach the water to quality of fills placed in water... all must be addressed by the client's representative and the address approved to the satisfaction of the EPA. That said, in no legal document has the EPA ever been granted any sort of control over whether or not a project can be wholely rejected or denied from construction so long as their narrow scope of concerns is addressed. Ridiculously, however, the courts and admins have defended the EPA everytime they've unilaterally decided to expand their authority and work outside of their legal boundaries. The tell-tale indicators of this being an EPA matter of concern are missing. There isn't any mention of endangered species, no POINT SOURCED polutants (upstream polkutants don't count in this!), and no indication that this creek feeds a drinking water source. EPA shouldn't even be a factor in this family's fight... by law it is only the Corps of Engineers or the Coast Guard who have the power to say "you cannot block or alter this waterway".



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

I really think this guy's biggest problem is that he didn't consult anyone at the federal level before deciding to divert/dam a stream to create a water source for his pond, not the EPA, not the Corps of Engineers, not anyone. I mean really, try building a house and not applying for permits and inspections until after it's built.

As a previous poster stated, his parents had two such "stock ponds" built with the blessings of the USGS and local conservation dept.. It's not like approval is unachievable, the guy apparently just figured he didn't need it.

I really feel like the authorities at the state level who permitted the damn thing should have informed him that because of the fact that his pond was NOT going to be built independent of the natural stream and NOT with it's own independent water source, there would be federal permitting guidelines that would also have to be met. It's not like they don't know this. Any state that's ever built a dam within it's boundaries has had to deal with either the USGS, the Corps of Engineers, the EPA, or any combination thereof.

With respect to stock ponds holding silt to the point where they need periodic dredging, this may be true in some cases, I won't deny that. On the other hand, I have personally witnessed stock ponds of the very same type described in this case get completely washed out, dam and all.

My father-in-law had cattle his entire life and on quite a spread too, I might add. I married his daughter when we were both 18 yrs. old so needless to say, I spent plenty of time on the ranch tagging and treating cattle for various ailments, bailing and stacking hay, building stock ponds and repairing earthen dams, building and repairing fences and any other ranch chores my father-in-law could come up with. Seeing how I got to hunt for free and sleep with his daughter, I had no room to bitch.

Anyway, on more than one occasion we had entire stock ponds emptied when flash floods washed out the dams, silt and all. Sometimes we even ended up with somewhat of a channel cut right through the middle.


edit on 21-5-2014 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 01:52 AM
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originally posted by: Flatfish
Anyway, on more than one occasion we had entire stock ponds emptied when flash floods washed out the dams, silt and all. Sometimes we even ended up with somewhat of a channel cut right through the middle.


The reason you had a dam failure was because your father-in-law failed to have the ponds dug to a depth/diameter and install an overflow designed for a 500-year rain.

Another problem is proper lining to prevent undermining.

In essence, the ponds that my parents has dug out were made to a size to handle a biblical flash flood. That means that the overflow is at an elevation to handle 12" of water for a 1 mile radius drain basin without the dam failing. There is also a 12" discharge that should handle a 100-year rain without worry.

The #1 cause of dam failure is using dirt rather than clay to seal the dam, under-sizing the overflow elevation and having an insufficient in thickness dam to stop hydraulic force and undermining. Undermining is when water is able to bore its way through a substrate. Multiple fissures cause more and more substrate to wash away eventually leading to the collapse of the dam.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 09:16 AM
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a reply to: Lipton

Yeah, I did.
If you had read the thread it's on PAGE 2. The location you have selected on your version is incorrect. Look at the Fox video and compare the building locations to where you think this pond is. It's right in front of his house... Also the imagery date for those maps predates the pond in question. So that 20 ton satellite in space surveyed years before it was even in place. Yet you purport all your statements as "matter-of-fact".

I'd be a bit more humble about telling people "what's what". Especially when that "what's what" is wrong.



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