Tags: epa | wyoming | pond

EPA, Wyoming Pond Builder Reach Settlement After He Files Lawsuit

Image: EPA, Wyoming Pond Builder Reach Settlement After He Files Lawsuit
(Twitter/@KSL_AlexCabrero)

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 06:41 AM

The EPA will no longer seek hefty fines for a Wyoming man after he built a pond on his property.

Wyoming Public Media reported Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had previously told Andy Johnson, of Fort Bridger, Wyoming, that they would fine him $37,000 per day until he removed the pond.

Johnson responded by filing a lawsuit against the EPA.

"They thought that we would just roll over and do what they wanted and we didn't, we fought it all the way, and it ended up going in our favor," Johnson told Wyoming Public Media.

Five years ago, Johnson built a dam on his property near a creek to create the stock pond in his front yard, KSL-TV reported.

He secured the permits from the State of Wyoming to do the project, according to the television station.

Johnson said that in 2014, the EPA threatened him with a letter, saying it would fine him $37,000 to $75,000 because the dam and pond violated the Clean Water Act.

"I think they're trying to gain jurisdiction," Johnson said to the television station in 2014. "They're trying to see if they can run over me and then they will get into everyone's irrigation ditch and stock ponds throughout not only Wyoming, but the United States."

KSL-TV wrote that the Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest legal organization based in Sacramento, California, came to Johnson's defense.

"We decided to help Andy because this is a case of national importance," Jonathan Wood, an environmental attorney with the foundation. "It could happen to anyone. Andy didn't violate the Clean Water Act. The federal government and the bureaucrats were intent on ignoring limitations on their own power."

Johnson's lawyers told Fox News that the only conditions the EPA set in the settlement was that Johnson plant willow trees around the pond and build a partial fence to "control livestock."

"This is a huge victory for us as well as private property owners across the country," Johnson said. "The next family that finds itself in our situation, facing ominous threats from EPA, can take heart in knowing that many of these threats will not come to pass. If, like us, you stand up to the overreaching bureaucrats, they may very well back down."

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The EPA will no longer seek hefty fines for a Wyoming man after he built a pond on his property.
epa, wyoming, pond
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2016-41-13
Friday, 13 May 2016 06:41 AM
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