Welder Faces $75,000 Per Day in EPA Fines Over What He Built On His Own Property

So there’s this guy. He build a pond on his property. And now the EPA is trying to nab him for $75,000 per day in fines.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims Johnson violated the Clean Water Act by “building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers,” according to the FoxNews.com report. The federal agency also says material from his pond is leaking into other waterways.

However, Johnson says his man-made pond, intended to attract wildlife, is exempt from regulations included in the Clean Water Act. Further, he claims he purposely followed state rules when he built the pond in 2012, citing an April 4 letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

The agency reportedly informed him that his “permit is in good standing and is entitled to be exercised exactly as permitted.”

The husband and father plans to battle the EPA because, for him, it’s about more than the pond.

“It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land,” he said. “I followed the rules.”

One could argue that he should have checked in with the full Clean Water Act regulations. On the other hand, he says he was told his permit was fine from state regulators, and besides, I’m sure every person violates some EPA regulation just by getting up int he morning.

To be honest, though, I’m mostly just glad to see someone taking a stand against the EPA. Then again, I’m not the one facing major fines. Perhaps a media push will help make the difference for this guy? He already has three Senators backing him; let’s see if we can get more.


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