Pacific Legal Foundation Rancher Andy Johnson Stock Pond On His Property V US Environmental Protection Agency
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[Pacific Legal Foundation Rancher Andy Johnson Stock Pond On His Property V US Environmental Protection Agency]
[Andy Johnson:] Source: LYBIO.net
The thought of paying $37,500 a day or $16 million at this point is absolutely devastating.
Johnson v. EPA
[Andy Johnson (PLF Client):]
I work for a living, I’m a regular old guy, I’m a welder by trade and I have four little kids that depend on me and a wife. And there’s just no way that I could ever pay any kind of fine like that.
[Jonathan Wood (Staff Attorney, PLF):]
PLF is challenging, and illegal and abusive compliance order that EPA issued against Andy Johnson for doing something on his private property that most people would probably take for granted.
[Daniel B Frank (Lawyer):]
It’s particularly disturbing when the federal government is coming down on a blue-collar guy that’s out there just trying to make a living, provide for his family and here comes the federal government saying, you can’t do this without a permit.
About five years ago we applied for a stock pond permit they did a final inspection on it. And they sent us a letter from Cheyenne that said that we were in ‘good standing’ with the state of Wyoming and that our stock pond was ‘exactly exercise as permitted’.
This is a case of the small farmer and rancher who built a stock pond on his property, something that most people in those lines of business would, absolutely take for granted and not even think twice about. He didn’t just do a stock pond though he was sensitive to the idea that he could actually make it environmentally friendly. He did exactly the kind of thing, the court and EPA should be congratulating for. But instead they threatened him with the ruinous fines.
[Ray L. Kagel JR (Kagel Environmental LCC):]
Oh, these are beautiful. Well there’s quite a few environmental benefits to the pond, it had the added benefit of creating quite a bit of nice habitat for fisheries, wildlife, waterfall and wetlands in general that were created because of the pond.
[Karen Budd-Falen (Attorney):]
We had a small land owner who was trying to better the environment not harming his neighbors who’d gotten all of the permits that they needed to and still the EPA wasn’t satisfied.
[Cynthia Lummis (Congressman, Wyoming):] Source: LYBIO.net
This is federal overreach in the most egregiously ugly way, and I’m proud that Andy and Katie are standing up for their rights, because when they stand up for their rights, they stand up for all of our rights under state water law.
I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist and since we’ve built the stock pond not only does our livestock benefit from it, but we’ve had eagles, we’ve had blue heron.
It has caused a lot of people to question whether they can be able to operate on their own private property with their own private water rights.
When they threatened property owners with ruinous fines, fines of up to $37,500 every single day that you don’t give into EPA’s demand, even if what you’ve done is perfectly legal.
This is our home and the EPA has came in and threatened to take everything that we’ve ever known.
This is a clear case of EPA and court overreach, the EPA and the court know that if a property owner is facing the threat of millions of dollars in fines, they’re probably not going to defend their rights and push the agency back, they’re probably just going to give in, or is it one case where that isn’t going to happen.
[Andy Johnson:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
I am willing to absolutely stand up the entire way to the end. I’m very thankful for Pacific Legal that they are supporting us but I’m committed.
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