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Monday, December 29, 2014 - 8:21am
Neal Barton's POV

Yes, this could happen here


POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 5:25pm

UPDATED: Saturday, April 12, 2014 - 6:58am

From Fox News: 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.

He says he won't pay them a dime and said the pond is a dream his family has had.

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.

But the EPA isn't backing down and argues they have final say over the issue. They also say Johnson needs to restore the land or face the fines.

Get off his back. Get off all our backs.

Don't you have something better to do like hunt extinct lizards in California and screw up water projects out there.

That's my point of view, what's yours?

You can email me at or Facebook me at KETK Neal Barton.  

Comments News Comments

Like it or not Johnson messed up. He either did not do his homework or intentionally tried to get around the Corp of engineers, which I am sure they told him about that when he got his permit. Pete is right, you can not block the free flow of creeks, rivers, etc. Does not matter if the creek is only two feet wide and six inches deep, it is still a creek and Johnson knew that.

He had a state permit- and built a pond using water from a 2 ft. wide 6 in. deep stream that connects to NO rivers..
Read this:

Thanks WhatTheHey, and welcome. Mr Johnson, like many Americans who have had enough, has decided to fight for the privilege to be left alone.

The EPA is the result of the GOP and Richard Nixon....News Flash a FACT

Reminiscent of the old west where water rights were determined by the number of guns a rancher had on his payroll, fighting the EPA would be like battling both the Cartwright's and the Barkley's. Pete correctly identifies a problem the State should oversee and Dave, the army corp. of engineers is as federal as this would have gone forty years ago before the conservationist collection agency learned how to shake-down America. Katie remembers St. Patrick citing the green of going green is money.

If his dam has impacted the free flow of water downstream, he has indeed made a mistake, and the EPA is looking out for those who may lose a water resources downstream. Neal, again, does not tell the whole story, instead using bits and pieces of a story to slant his reader's perceptions against a governmental department that is looking out for the welfare of Mr. Johnson's neighbors beyond his pond. Neal believes everyone should be able to do as they want with no consequences at all..

The EPA, being a large bureaucracy, that no one can vote out, has absolute power to write it's own 'regulations'. These regulations have the power of law and no one in Congress wrote any of it's regulations nor reviewed them. Yes they have a 'citizens input' but it has no power to stop or change their regulations.

Some of the regs are good, some bad, most are just an annoyance that drives up cost due to paperwork.

The answer? Break up the EPA and limit their authority.

Do it for the children!

The EPA regulated Ford and they had to put an emissions tank that has to be filled with a fluid that is about 65% water. My friend has a truck that has this feature and the default emissions light comes on all of the time. Less than a year old and has been in the shop 5 times. This feature limits your speed to 50 mph and if you don't have it fixed will then limit you to 35 mph, after that, you are in idle mode. You go nowhere. The EPA should be forced to drive these trucks in the Mojave.

The statue you mentioned is for public safety. By getting a permit from the Corp of Engineers your assuring the structural integrity of the dam being built. There are safety concerns for anyone living down stream from a large body of water. A friend of mine woke up to find 3 feet of water running through her house after a private dam failure. We need building codes, they're a necessary evil.

This harkens back to the story a year or so ago about the EPA wanting to regulate drainage ditches as navigable waterways.

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