Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property
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.”
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.
Reminds me of a quote from Heinlein’s Notebooks of Lazarus Long:
There are hidden contradictions within the minds of people who “love nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature”–but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beaver’s purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purpose of men) the “Naturist” reveals his hatred for his own race–i.e., his own self-hatred.
I can tell you from experience that beavers can dam a creek and create a pond in a very short time. When I was a kid I worked on the highway dept. there was a 9 foot wide culvert they repeatedly targeted.