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Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail -- for Collecting Rainwater on His Property

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posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:11 AM
First of all you need to give the one finger salute to those in 1925.

Then come back and abuse the more recent officials for following the law.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:22 AM
It's very clear to me now that this is not about the water at all. This is about Harrington and something that happened in 2003 to have his permits revoked.

Here is the key to why he has no leg to stand on. (red tape)

On its own reconsideration, the department issued final orders denying petitioner's applications for the permits on May 12, 2003.   Petitioner petitioned for reconsideration of those final orders on June 25, 2003, which was fewer than 60 days later.   That petition thus was timely under ORS 183.484(2).   The department did not act on the petition, and under the statute, it was deemed denied 60 days later, that is, on August 25, 2003. Petitioner had 60 days from that date, or until October 24, 2003, to seek judicial review.   However, he did not seek review of any of the department's actions until May 13, 2004, and then the only action for which  he sought review was the March 19 letter. By that time, the statutory period for seeking judicial review of the denial of his petition for reconsideration of the May 12 orders had long passed, and the denial was final .


Here is what happened.

1. Harrington asked for reconsideration for their revocation of his permits in 2003 within the time limit.
2. The WRD didn't respond to his request.
3. Harrington did not follow up for another 8 months to check in on the request
4. Because the WRD had no obligation to respond, the game clock timed-out, and the decision became final.

Nothing since 2003 on this case has focused on whether Harrington should or should not be able to retain water on his property. It's all about red tape and wanting Harrington to comply with the system. I really think they could care less about his ponds and their impact on the water basin.

It's been a chess game between the Oregon Water and Harrington ever since and Oregon has now made what they hope is their checkmate move, but Harrington says he will serve his time if he must.

The biggest mystery to me here is... "Why did the WRD revoke his permits in 2003?"

Yes, it's clear they are picking on Harrington. But, why pick on one guy with a few fishin' holes?

Maybe Harrington has a neighbor that has some influence with the State?

Maybe Harrington did something completely unrelated to this case in 2003 to make someone angry?

Is this over if Harrington goes to jail for 30 days? I don't think the WRD can legally slip onto his property while he is in the can and open up his reservoir gates.

Do they keep sending him to jail for 30-day stints until he complies?

Now that I know that this isn't about the water or a 1925 law, but rather about one guy and the permitting process, I'm siding with Harrington. The State refuses to address the real issue here. If Harrington goes to jail and gets more national (hopefully better) media coverage, maybe they will reconsider.

edit on 29-7-2012 by Zarniwoop because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:30 AM
This proves that one does not truly own one's own property (no alloidial title). We are defacto renters (property tax payers) from the state who has the right to the air above our head (chemtrails/geoengineering) and even to the rainwater that falls on our own property (just wait til Agenda 21 gets into full swing). I understand the argument about replinishing the aquifers and all but come on......collecting rainwater off your roof should be a right. What is next? A tax for receiving rain water, sunshine, oxygen and I guess a tax on emitting carbon dioxide and other wastes also.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by CosmicCitizen

collecting rainwater off your roof should be a right

It's not a "right", but it's perfectly OK to do so in Oregon, at least for now.

Exempt Uses
water uses that do not require a permit
Some uses of water do not require a water right. For surface water
these include: natural springs which do not flow off the property on
which they orginate, stock watering, fire control, forest management, and the
collection of rainwater. Ground water exempt uses include: stock
watering, less than one-half acre of lawn and garden watering, and domestic
water uses of no more than 15,000 gallons per day. Consult the
Department for more information about exempt uses.


But, Harrington is saving more than rainwater and neither Oregon or Harrington will back down.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 11:47 AM

Originally posted by Praetorius
reply to post by SoymilkAlaska
Not quite that simple. Appears there are two Oregon laws at point here, and he's actually got a series of dams on the property stopping rain & snowmelt runoff from getting back into the water supply (which as far as I can tell from quick review, could affect more runoff just than what generates on his land).

I'm a little mixed on this one, need to look further into it. Will be interesting to keep an eye on.

I'm with you, a bit mixed.

Collecting rainwater is one thing; creating a personal reservoir is another; creating a damn/reservoir that impedes the natural flow of water (whether runoff or not) is an entirely different one. I don't think he has the right, if that runoff supplies and replenishes necessary water in the water cycle. Like you, i'd have to look deeper into it.

We have a small 1.5-2 acre pond fed by a natural spring that we built when we bought the property 20+ years ago (which we were legally allowed to do). Several years ago development started upstream along the creek, which removed natural erosion barriers (and which affected our pond water quality, brought in tons of silt, trash, debris, especially during large amounts of rain), and one of the new homeowners also damned this creek to make his own reservoir to water his landscaping. Needless to say, our pond level started to drop, and we brought in the DNR. Needless to say, what he was doing was "illegal," and he ended up having to get rid of the damn to restore the water flow to its natural state.

That said, i have seen other articles of people who have been fined or what have you simply FOR collecting rainwater in buckets, which i think is ridiculous and infuriating.

posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by blamethegreys

There's a difference in taking water from a stream and collecting water that fell from the sky, though.
I could see If he was taking hundreds or thousands of gallons of water from a stream, how that might affect the water supply down stream.

I believe rain water is free to whoever, in reasonable amounts. The only one who owns the water is mother nature, not some water companies, as much as they like to think they own it.

The fact that there are laws to prevent the collection of water that literally fell on you is complete BS. If I ever need to collect rain water, I will do so. (I'm not sure if we even have any rain collection laws like that in Indiana)
Whats next, air/oxygen fees?
Greedy government laws don't apply to nature.

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