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Wyoming man challenges outrageous EPA fines


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A rancher is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to federal court, asking a judge to stop the agency from fining him more than $16 million because he built a small pond on his property.

Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger, Wyoming says he made sure to get the proper permits from his state government before building the pond. After all, this is America in the 21st century, and nothing done on your own property — certainly when it involves the use of water — is beyond government concern.

Johnson is facing millions in fines from the federal government after the EPA determined his small pond — technically a “stock pond” to provide better access to water for animals on his ranch — is somehow violating the federal Clean Water Act.

“We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I’m proud of what we built,” Johnson said. “The EPA ignored all that.”

In a compliance order, the EPA told Johnson he had to return his property — under federal oversight — to conditions before the stock pond was built. When he refused to comply, the EPA tagged Johnson with a fines of $37,000 per day.

Dismantling the pond within the 30-day window the EPA originally gave him was “physically impossible,” Johnson said.Scissors-32x32.png

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EPA hits farmer with $16M in fines for building stock pond

Jazz Shaw

August 31, 2015


It was just this weekend when we saw the EPA moving ahead with sweeping regulations which redefine the meaning of the Clean Water Act, seeking to extend their control over every pool of water in the country, despite the fact that a federal judge had put enforcement of the regulations on hold in 13 states. Today we’ll take a brief look at a case which has been percolating for quite a while and demonstrates the way that the agency can impact the lives of farmers and rural landowners. Andy Johnson, a farmer from Fort Bridger, Wyoming, made the bold move in 2012 of building a small earthen dam across a creek which runs through his property to create a stock pond for his horses and cattle. We’re not talking about a hydroelectric dam on a river here.. this is a stream that you can walk across without getting the tops of your socks wet for most of the year.


How this attracted the attention of the EPA isn’t exactly clear, but they came down on Andy like a ton of bricks, hitting him with fines which now total more than $16M.



Even though the Clean Water Act exempts stock ponds, and Mr. Johnson had obtained the necessary state permits, the EPA ordered him in January 2014 to restore the area to its original condition or accumulate fines of $37,500 a day. Instead, Mr. Johnson hired a lawyer.


“The EPA is out to expand its power, and I’m a test case,” said Mr. Johnson in a statement. “We’re going to fight them all the way.”


Last week, his attorneys — including the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Budd-Falen law firm in Cheyenne — filed a lawsuit against the agency to stop it from enforcing the compliance order.



Because the creek feeds into the Green River the EPA seems to feel that they hold jurisdiction over it, though calling that stream “navigable waters” would require expanding the definition of “boats” to include “galoshes.” Also, the “dam” in question was composed of sand, gravel, clay and concrete blocks, which the agency decided met the criteria for “pollutants.” (Aside from the cinder blocks, those materials are also locally known as “the ground.”) Amazingly, Johnson had filed for and been granted the appropriate local and state permits to have a stock pond, and stock ponds are specifically excluded from the traditional wording of the Clean Water Act. No matter… the agency felt that action was required to save the world and they were going to leap to the rescue.








If you see these people run to your Safe Room. You know I bet they're Bitter Clingers! You can just tell the type of evil ultra radical hate filled people they are.

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