Wyoming man defiantly fights possible $75,000 a day EPA fine for building backyard pond

Johnson family pond

Photo Credit: Andy Johnson/Facebook

Wyoming resident Andy Johnson dreamed of building a stock pond on his land to attract wildlife, a place where his horses could drink and his children could play.

The welder got the required permit, never imagining a stand-off with the Environmental Protection Agency, Fox News reported.

Johnson and his wife put their “blood, sweat and tears” into the pond, but they now face civil and criminal penalties, including a possible $75,000-a-day fine.

Defiant, food stamp surfer dude turns down $80K job from Hannity

“I have not paid them a dime, nor will I,” he told Fox News. “I will go bankrupt, if I have to, fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream.”

Fox News reported:

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.

The EPA requires the land be restored, but Johnson has no intentions of backing down.

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

Johnson has won the support of several lawmakers, who sent a letter to the EPA saying they were “troubled” by the case, according to Fox News.

Republican U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, both of Wyoming, and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., signed on to the letter, which said:

“Fairness and due process require the EPA base its compliance order on more than an assumption,” they wrote. “Instead of treating Mr. Johnson as guilty until he proves his innocence by demonstrating his entitlement to the Clean Water Act section 404 (f)(1)(C) stock pond exemption, EPA should make its case that a dam was built and that the Section 404 exemption does not apply.”

The agency told Fox News it is reviewing the senators’ letter.

Continue reading at FoxNews.com

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Tom Tillison

Tom is a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida before joining BizPac Review.He can be reached at TomTillisonFL@gmail.com
About Tom Tillison

Tom is a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida before joining BizPac Review. He can be reached at TomTillisonFL@gmail.com

  • ObsidianOne

    Unbelievable. This is government harassing.

    • J. C. Smith

      …and with no constitutional authority to do so.

      DISBAND THE EPA TODAY!!!!

  • Dewdle

    What lousy journalism. Viral lousy journalism. Single source of attribution , no fact checking, presumptive and accusatory.

    Every single drop of water in Wyoming , on the land or under it, is owned by and administered by the STATE of Wyoming, thru the State Engineer’s office….every water well, every ditch and canal, every reservoir, every stock pond. That is bedrock in the Wyoming constitution. If there is a regulation being skirted or a law broke, he would have heard from the State Engineer’s office forthwith, and firstly. That’s how it works around here ( I’m in Wyoming )

    Having said that : If in fact this Andy Johnson guy did not get his 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers ,required for an diversion of any water course more than 1 foot deep , he would have heard directly from army Corps at some point. They are not bashful about this stuff…ask any rancher who’s ever tried to rip-rap a river bank. THEN the State of
    Wyoming would come in having been notified by Army Corps. In the absence of Army Corps enforcement and Wyoming State Engineer enforcement, I am very very skeptical of the tone and thrust f this inflammatory article. It does not fit the facts of how the water business is conducted in Wyoming. Water is the most precious resource in Wyoming and thus most regulated. Has been since 1890. And Johnson had to have known he needed both state and Army Corps approval to do what he did before he did it. The EPA is way down the line from that . The onus is on Johnson , not the EPA, and not before the Army Corps and Wyo DEQ/State Engineer have chimed in. You can’t go straight from private landowner to EPA without passing thru those other agencies along the way .

    Nobody in Wyoming knows anything about this or has heard anything at all about this case , other than the Johnson’s whining .

    I seriously question this story. More attribution needed. Better reporting, too.. The original story was lifted straight from a piece by Jason Howerton at Glenn Beck’s mouthpiece ” The Blaze” , if that is any indicator. Serious veracity issues over there at The Blaze, where they routinely make and throw journalistic firebombs.

    • Aaron Barnes

      the man has the right to do as he please on his own land if he wants to build a pond or a well he has ever right to do and the day were a person has to get permission from the govt to do something on their own land is the day the govt has become to powerful

      • Dewdle

        No, Aaron , he does not. Not with the people’s water. It’s not his water to do as he pleases. Johnson screwed up. You are misguided. read the law. Riparian ( water ) Law goes back to the Roman Empire.

        • russinga

          Dude….the man got a state perment. The federal EPA is doing this.

          • Herman Vogel

            DUD, state permits are NOT the only ones you need to Block a waterway…he messed up, look up the law, it’s been in existence since the 20 or before…geez. wake up. this is how the gov’t gets their foot in the door. by people like this thinking they can deprive downstream neighbors of the water and its purity. He messed up,,,he needs to fix it before the Gov’t gets BOTH feet in the door. Remember “Your rights end where the next person’s begin”. He violated his neighbor’s rights. would you allow YOUR neighbor to restrict YOUR rights and stand with him?

        • Aaron Barnes

          if there is a under ground water where i live it is not the people water it is mine because it is own my land, and i not talking about water im talking about him, making a pond on his own land now if it was in a housing development yea i would understand but out in the country where people own alot of land this is mess up.

          • Dewdle

            No, Aaron , in Wyoming you don’ t own your groundwater either, unless and until you have a legal water right , then a permit for any well. Doesn’t matter where the water is , above or below ground, or where it comes from , it is not yours to use in Wyoming till you have been granted a water right to it, a legal document. All the water belongs to The People, not a person. You get a permit to use X-amount of water, but not own it. Johnson didn’t do any of this right. And now that he’s made a big stink about it and gone public , he’s made it harder on himself. We all get a lesson in water rights and responsibilities. But guess what ? This case goes back a year, the court papers are six weeks old, and not a single Wyoming news outlet is reporting on it. The article here is just so much rhetorical BS whooped up by people from elsewhere who really don’t know what they are talking about…presumptive or crackpot ” journalists”. Funny thing is, when it’s all over they’ll probably let him keep his little dam and pond and just pay a fine, would be my guess. I dunno, but it’s a one sided tempest in a crock pot.

          • Herman Vogel

            Even well water can be contaminated by improper well drilling which contaminates EVERYONE’S well water. This guy messed up. He should have built it to only catch water coming off of HIS land and NOT block a creek denying his downstream neighbors of their water rights. This is how the Gov’t gets their foot in the door,,,with people doing stupid things that end up violating other’s rights,,,then WE ALL lose ours because of it. sad, huh.

          • Arlan Poer

            now in many areas, landowners are required to get permits to collect rainwater from their downspouts

          • Herman Vogel

            In areas that have more water well for home use it is not a bad idea. If you divert water and let it evaporate it no longer goes into the Groundwater. Hence, wells fall to Half Level, people and livestock suffer.

          • Subcomandante Goatz

            Actually, no, there are no laws that block a few rain barrels under downspouts. What there are in many areas now are laws against diverting enough water to have an effect beyond the borders of the property. Many municipal wells rely on ground water levels staying above a certain level. A few rain barrels aren’t a problem, as once they are full, the rest flows to ground water. Put in a cistern big enough to capture all the rain that falls on your land, and none of it is going to ground water. If enough people put in such systems, the level in the wells drop, and the area has a problem.

          • Aaron Barnes

            so u saying if i own a couple of acres of land and there is a small pond on it that pond is not mine it the peeples pond even if it on my land?

          • Dewdle

            For the umpteenth time, in Wyoming ( where the story is situated ) you never OWN any water whatsoever , you license it by the permitting process , based on water rights but never outright ownership of it . You get to use X amount in Y time. I have no idea where you live, but this is generally true in most places. Water cannot be owned.

          • Herman Vogel

            He blocked a Waterway,,,thereby blocking the rights to the water to his Neighbor,,,this is NOT underground water,,it was a creek which his neighbor also has rights to…would you allow YOUR neighbor to build something that restricted YOUR rights?

          • Doug

            Please resubmit in English.
            The Editors

      • Arlan Poer

        I truly hope that some of you folks who make these posts do not spend a lot of money and effort based on the fact that “this property is mine and I will do what I want with it”. While I agree with you 100%, that is not the way our present day government works nor has it worked that way for a long time. Look at it, for well over a century, if government wanted your property or if anyone with influence in the government wanted it they simply condemn and seize, rarely paying a fair market value. Our government is the biggest enemy we have.

    • Kenneth Clark

      You too sir need to research the powers give to the EPA. An EPA employee could be driving down your street or road and if they “think” something may be going on on your property, our government has allowed them to be god over all the property you own and can and will invade your privacy at will without consultation with any other agency. They can and will make your life a living he’ll simply because they can. OSHA is the same.

    • Burn_the_Witch

      First of all, this is not really journalism site, it’s a news aggregation site, which is quite common on the internet.

      Secondly, I don’t think we read the same article. The author makes no value judgment and presents both sides. This is no more a “journalistic firebomb” than any other reporting by any other outlet that decides to inject the human interest formula.

      Why is nobody in Wyoming talking about this? I doubt very seriously you’ve got your finger on the pulse of every conversation within Wyoming, but it could just be that he took his story national. That happens all the time.

      Now, you raise some excellent points regarding the Army Corps of Engineers and seem to be very well-acquainted with the process this man should have followed. That raises the problem with journalism as a whole and is certainly not confined to any particular outlet – it induces Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

    • Sharpshooter

      Due to the fact that you are so knowledgeable about the various agencies involved and all of the rules and regulations involving a, “watering hole”. Maybe you should rent your services out to the general public, you could be a consultant for the general publilc and and a part time “stringer”, for the local newspaper and really show your stuff”. You could become a legend in your own mind”

      • Dewdle

        I’m a retired journalist and 3rd generation Wyoming native who also was a land surveyor for ten years who staked a LOT of water wells , canals, irrigation systems, and ditches , besides building an 25,000 acre foot earthfill dam along the way.

        By the way , if Johnson really built a ” stock ” pond, where is his livestock ?

        • Blomsoy

          Stocked with fish ?

          • Dewdle

            Sorry…a stock pond in Wyoming is solely for livestock.

  • george w bush

    Let the man have his pond, seriously who cares. I can’t stand the government sometimes.

    • Herman Vogel

      We can say the same thing about YOUR neighbor building a race track,,,right…It’s HIS property,,he can do what he wants on in even though it effect Everyone else’s…right. he blocked a creek, read the article…you DON”T block waterways,,,the law has been that way since the 20s…not just now. This is how the Gov’t gets it’s foot in the door, by people doing stupid things that effect others,,,the they grow their power over all of us..this guy messed up. He has downstream neighbors the HE denied water and its purity to,,,look it up.

      • Beverly Golato

        My question here is how did the EPA become aware of his pond? I did not read anywhere in this article where he blocked water from his neighbors. I think it goes deeper than just his pond. The EPA has been paying a lot of unusual attention to WY. and Montana. This might be just a backdoor to a land grab by the government. Agenda 21 is still alive and well in Obama and the UN’s mind.

        • Doug

          What does your good friend Judge Scalia say about this?

          • Blomsoy

            Try Judge Napolitano instead…

          • Doug

            We went to the same elementary school although he’s somewhat younger.

        • Mamzer_FEMA_REGION_IV

          Insightful indeed

      • Raymond Tower

        You’re just another statist, liberal hack.

        • Herman Vogel

          We will see how you act when a neighbor poisons a creek upstream from you and YOU lose 30 acres of grazing bottom land like my friend did, and it took him 5 yrs to get it back.

    • Mamzer_FEMA_REGION_IV

      Yet you doubled it size Mr Homeland security. Gawd I would hate to see what you did on illegal immigration

  • Naia McCoy

    Weird, my neighbor did the same thing and diverted it from a stream. Wonder why they are not coming after him?

    • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

      They probably don’t know about your neighbor.

    • Herman Vogel

      Because he “Diverted” not “Blocked”,,there is a difference. When you Block you deny your downstream neighbors of their rights to the water,,,when you devert you don’t contaminated the stream,,only catch-off water.

  • cavetrollhead

    I haven’t liked the EPA SINCE Ghostbusters!

  • Pamela K. Cahoon Laub

    A man was heavily fined for collecting rain that ran off his roof into a rain barrel to water his plants. Diverting huge amounts of water could cause other people hardships, but government CONTROL of small uses of water has gotten insane. In FL homeowners have water restrictions but 2 bottled water companies drain our aquifer and sell the water.

    • Herman Vogel

      Water that is deverted into Catch-Off containers deprives the Aquifer of needed water for wells. When you use it to water your plants it evaporates and doesn’t go back into the ground water. That deprives your neighbors of well water or a larger quality of same. Even though it was a small amount, if everyone did it the well would soon be at Half level in a few years. This only happens in areas that have wells that produce 15 GPM and less. The guy was Wrong,,,sorry.

      • Burn_the_Witch

        I’m with you on the solid arguments you’re making upthread, but on this one you’re off. The amount of water used to water household plants – even if collected by everyone in household Catch-Off containers – is not enough to affect the water table.

        By this logic, household plants would be banned because the well-water, or municipal water also evaporates when used to water the plants.

        Water used from catch-offs is also water not used from the water table; so when you consider the vast amounts of water that precipitates and the amount of water lost to the water table due to normal run-off (especially in more-developed areas like the ones she was referring to), catch-offs simply don’t result in a net loss of water to aquifers.

        Arguments against catch-offs like the ones she referred to aren’t based upon any Earth science, they’re based upon how much revenue a local or state government can generate from the permitting and how much control they can exercise. It’s little more than bureaucratic scare-mongering. If you’re talking about a rural area, then it’s just patently absurd.

        • Herman Vogel

          You’re not understanding the WHOLE point. I said If EVERYONE did this,,not just ONE person. but EVERYONE, the water level would be effected, This is how the Gov’t gets its foot in the door,,too many people think they have the right to do whatever they want not taking into consideration how their actions effect others. Hence MORE regulations. We are not living is the times of the pilgrims, we have way too many people living in this country to act like WE are the only ones that matter,,those time are over,,,by MENY years,

          • Burn_the_Witch

            I understood the point quite clearly and even emphasized it in the second sentence of my response.

          • Maureen

            So you are telling me that run off from a roof doesn’t evaporate as soon as the sun comes out? What the EPA doesn’t like is the fact that these people are being conservative and not paying every dollar the utilities want to pump every drop of water they need to them. If done correctly and this sounds like the guy followed the rules given him, it should not cause any problem downstream after the initial filling of he pond.which happens very quickly. I watched an 80ft+ lake, yes I said LAKE fill up in less than a week after they dug it out. The overflow keeps the stream from going dry. This LAKE was dug right behind our house by the town so we did literally watch it fill. Putting in this lake destroyed a forest by the way, I didn’t hear the EPA whine about that.

          • Herman Vogel

            Evaporation happens but not at he rate you think. what comes off the roof is for the most part reentered into the water table but only during the rain, afterward it does turn to a vapor or Evaporation. If everyone caught rain water in THESE locations that rely of ground water, the levels would drop. I saw it happen in southern Col. As for Down stream problems, like I said, people do stupid thing like put Aquatic Herbicides in the water to kill off unwanted vegetation and such chemicals soon find their way to Other fields downstream. don’t know anything about the situation with your lake but the way this guy went about this blockage was not the right way, even if he had city or state permits. You still don’t block a stream without an environmental impact study…and BTW people like THIS cause those studies to come about too. sadly…they too just did what they wanted until it ended up harming others. that’s where the line was crossed and the EPA got their foot in the door.

          • Burn_the_Witch

            Your argument about catch-offs is just as untrue here as it was up-thread when I pointed it out. In developed locations, the vast amount of water is lost to the water table due to runoff. Much more water runs off than what would be captured if everyone had a home system in place. Even if everyone had a system, there would still be runoff that fails to make it into the water table.

            The subsequent reduction in the need to draw water from the water table means that home water collection systems do not negatively impact the water table.

            You never saw this happen in SoCal due to everyone there having a water collection system, because not everyone had one. This happened in SoCal because of incompetent and ignorant community planning in which the permeable ground surfaces were overlaid with impermeable material without offsetting municipal water collection ponds as you see in FL and some other states.

            [**Edited for clarity]

          • Maureen

            Another thing, doesn’t the water that a rain barrel doesn’t catch still saturate the ground and keep the water table up? Is a water barrel really that much water to suck the ground dry?
            Oh and how many years is “meny”?

          • Herman Vogel

            Oh Geez, you will never understand even if I explained in 1000 times,,,so Bub-by.

          • Burn_the_Witch

            That’s because you’re wrong in this particular explanation. Which is disappointing because you did so well addressing drilling and waterways.

          • Maureen

            oh geez, I guess you are right because you don’t know proper English and I don’t understand psycho-babble. If everyone did it the correct way then there wouldn’t be a problem would there? Where is the concern about companies dumping crap into water that we drink? Or oil on our shores? If everyone did those things, THEN we really would have a problem wouldn’t we? Where are the fines on THOSE people? Why aren’t they shut down? If they sent someone out to tell this guy how to correct how he built it, wouldn’t everyone be happy?
            So take your condescending “buh bye” elsewhere Bubba.

          • Herman Vogel

            I can always tell when a poster has NO idea of the correct answer and that they are blowing smoke because the FIRST thing they do when they realize that THEY are WRONG is attack grammar and or spelling. which in most cases are just typos…sad.

          • Burn_the_Witch

            No, she quite plainly attacked the premise of your argument. The comment on your grammar came after. You seem to ignore the valid criticisms of your position on water runoff and resort to talking about the law, which is utterly irrelevant when it comes to the actual science of the subject.

            Now you’re just trolling, so you deserve the comment on your poor spelling and grammar.

            Tighten up your argument and you won’t have to worry.

          • Herman Vogel
          • Burn_the_Witch

            Are you even bothering to read anything anyone is writing?

            We’re not talking about streams. We’re talking about water capture systems. I’ve said a couple of times you were right about stream diversion. You’re wrong about water catch-off systems.

          • Maureen

            I have lived in a rural/farm area all my life. I have seen ponds plenty of times on farms in natural depressions, no where near a stream. I live on a farm now, almost every piece of land out here has at least 2 ponds. Whether they are natural or dug out, I do not know. We are about to dredge our pond because of all the muck that has gathered on the bottom. I can see your point if you make a pond in a dry arid area and water is scarce. Our property down at the bottom of the hill is over saturated. We plan to make the creek that comes from the over flow of the pond deeper and wider so more of the standing water will make it into the creek. So I do know a little about water flow and sharing. We plan on eliminating the spurs that have developed so it is one flow again. I happen to respect the land. You cannot take more from it than what you can give back. The people who owned this land before did not respect it and depleted and over used it. We do not use anything harmful that could flow down and get into the water. We hope to have a fishing pond and a place where we can water the stock. Isn’t that better than using up the water from the city? We have more than one huge dam and lake very close to us- man made. There is even a town underneath one. People lost their homes because of this lake. Did they give them land along the shores of the lake, no. That is prime land now for vacationers and commercial boat docks. Those lakes are getting their water from somewhere. Aren’t they cheating the surrounding areas of water? Yes I believe in laws to keep someone from hogging more than their share of the water just because they are at the top of the hill. But I also believe they should try and work with these law abiding citizens who are trying to do what is right. THAT is the statement that the people who are disagreeing with you are trying to make. Did they say that this guy blocked a stream completely? Are you saying that the water should flow completely unimpeded down hill so the guy at the bottom can only reap the benefits? Has the thought occurred to you that little ponds along the way help keep the land at the bottom from flooding? Please quit treating the rest of us like we are idiots because those of us that live in rural areas are not. Some of us do not want to use city water because of all the chemicals they use.

          • Herman Vogel
          • Burn_the_Witch

            He’s quite wrong on this, but rather than defend his points, he’s just ignoring the counter-arguments and just repeating himself. I’m almost ready to write him off.

          • Herman Vogel

            You always do when you KNOW you are Wrong because by chance you looked up the laws…LMAO. sad,

          • Burn_the_Witch

            You should try making sense. The argument is not about the law (laws don’t affect the math or science), the argument is about if water capture systems affect the water table.

            You’re losing it here.

          • Herman Vogel

            Try this then. I worked with land and soil conservation for years, this guy it WRONG in blocking the waterways

            http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=A0LEVzqz_yZT1HAAy_xXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzMG1xcmozBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDOARjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDM3MF8x?qid=20090322135808AAiLKiD

          • Burn_the_Witch

            First of all, “yahoo answers” is not a credible source.

            Second of all, we’re not talking about blocking waterways, we’re talking about rainwater catchment systems.

            Try reading what people are actually writing.

        • PavePusher

          Also, the catch-offs DO go into the ground. Just a few hours or days later than the rain storm.

          • Herman Vogel

            While it is raining you get MORE runoff into the ground then you do after it stops. think about it, dry ground allows for more evaporation then wet. Geez.

      • Doug

        Herman it’s nice to see someone responding who knows what they’re talking about instead of automatically cursing the government out of ignorance.

        • Herman Vogel

          Growing up on a farm put you in better contact with reality and what we are doing or not doing to the planet. Way too many of the posters here have a knee-jerk reaction only because they listen to the media,,,who know even less then THEY do. sadly. I have always thought, and my life experiences showed me to be mostly correct, that the Gov’t never TOOK our rights, we GAVE them up through thoughtless conduct, irresponsible actions that harmed or disturbed others or just being plain stupid and wasteful. This is how the Goon in the Federal Gov’t bet their foot in the door,,,then grow said foot until you can no longer close said door. Sad part is, we also have people pretending to be “All for the rights of the people” but are working WITH the Fed. I see it in the Oil Fields in South Texas. Companies with NO record or history in the business come in with Full permits and start drilling,,,and end up destroying the groundwater, land and other things. My Nephew caught one just last year and I told him “don’t go to the fed”, tell the other drillers what you found and let THEM take care of this moron. Turns out his hunch was right and they disappeared with NO record of production or environmental safety. It’s like they came out of nowhere,,,so you have to watch who you follow,,,even with gun rights,,we have fakes working with the Gov’t. sad, huh

      • bendecido

        Not to mention the fact that it could create sinkholes as it happens very often in Florida.

        • Herman Vogel

          Don’t think the sinkholes came from drilling, I think they have another problem. Taking oil out of the ground doesn’t effect ground tension. Something else is going on…

      • PavePusher

        Wait….
        Letting it fall off the roof onto the ground is different from pouring onto the ground from a container?
        How so?

        • Herman Vogel

          You know what, I have explained this to 4 different people on this post,…look it up for yourself.

          • PavePusher

            And your “explanation” doesn’t make sense.
            Water isn’t being blocked or stopped or diverted to other purposes. At worst it’s being delayed a few hours or days, then continuing on in the system.

          • Herman Vogel

            OK one more time, dry ground allows for More evaporation the wet ground, think about it, when you pour water on dry ground what happens, it evaporates but not on wet ground, the tension in the ground is already broken down and the water is allow to travel through it. I worked on soil conservation and Water Shed projects for 20 yrs, I know a “Little” this guy is WRONG.

          • Burn_the_Witch

            Water collection systems (like the ones we’re talking about) do not have any appreciable effect on what you’re talking about in this response.

          • PavePusher

            That would depend on far more factors than simple soil hydration. You are trying to baffle with bull-pucky, as the saying goes.

    • Subcomandante Goatz

      Of course those water companies get the water, they pay for it. They paid good money for the politicians they bought. They make money for their stockholders, pay taxes, and employ people. They are job creators! Freedom and capitalism demand that people face water restrictions so that corporations can prosper. That’s the American way! What are you, some sort of liberal believing they are entitled to something, like drinking water? Really, the city should abolish it’s socialist water system, and have you buy all your water from those two bottled water companies.

  • Jerry

    You buy the land. You pay the taxes. The government tells you what you can do with it.

    • Herman Vogel

      Waterway rights are not part of land ownership. If a waterway runs through your property you need to get permits, follow the Regs and do it right. This guy didn’t. We had a seasonal stream through our farm at home. The neighbor blocked it for his own use and then was caught dumping in herbicides to kill aquatic plants that invade the new pond…it ended up destroying a lot of downstream crops and property. Now, who was right? Seasonal or Year around streams belong to everyone,,,not just ONE property owner. He is depriving his neighbor of the use of the water and its purity. He is sadly wrong by blocking a creek. If he would have build the pond to catch water coming off the property instead of out of a creek the Federal Gov’t would have no rights.

  • Herman Vogel

    Normally I would stand with this guy like I would with anyone fighting a Gov’t land ownership disagreement, but as a person raised on a Ranch in the 50s even I know you DON’T block a creek, stream or waterway just to have your own pond. It deprives everyone down stream of their rights to the water. Everything you do in said pond effects downstream property owners too. This guys should have looked up the Agriculture laws and regulations first. Remember, Your rights END where the next person’s BEGIN”. He is depriving his own neighbors of THEIR water rights and purity of same. Sad, I like ponds but Not at the expense of my neighbors water rights. It’s only fair.

  • old_salty_dawg99

    Naturally this Government is trying to strip this man of his rights and violate their own rules since the IDIOT STUPID Americans put into this Nation’s highest office violates the law everyday. Obammy also thinks he is better than GOD so why would the agency he put people in Charge of not think that rule also applies to them???

    • Herman Vogel

      He has no “Rights” to block a creek. It deprives the downstream neighbor of THEIR rights to the water and its purity…this is how we lose OUR rights, by denying others of theirs of their and then THAT allow an overbearing Gov’t to come in and screw with us,,,it’s the same as waving a red flag in front of a fighting Bull…the Bull would never have come after you if you didn’t ask for it. I like ponds but this one is build Wrong,,,he should have built it to Only catch rain water coming off his property and NOT block a creek. This law has been in existence since the 20s and maybe before. Look it up. What he did is give this Gov’t a reason to screw with everyone,,,just because HE wanted a full pond year-round. Sad.

      • wwj745

        He applied for permits from the state, the state approved his permits, He had every right according to the state. He just did not do this on his own. he obeyed the law. If the EPA has a problem it should be with the state that approved the project.

    • Doug

      Next to Herman’s reasoned answers your post looks like the work of a kindergartner.

    • Maureen

      “Obammy” didn’t create the EPA. Surely you can come up with a more intelligent and truer insult than this.

  • RobertNorwood

    I’m as much against government interference and intrusion as any constitution loving person but this guy has a problem. Simply because a water way meanders through your property does not give you ownership or control over that piece. Range wars were fought over such issues which prompted states, for one thing, to clarify what one could and could not do with it to the extent that it effects down stream users as Herman Vogel points out. But then in waltzes the Feds exacerbating matters by usurping the state’s own rights in to the degree that getting any issue fairly and amicably resolved in any creative and sensible way is impossible. You are guilty until you prove your innocence and fined on a daily basis so heavily no one but a Bill Gates could ever hope to pay the fines; it’s not how it is meant to work.

    • Maureen

      But he is not stopping the water, just letting some of it “pool” to help the very nature they are supposed to be protecting.

      • RobertNorwood

        Granted, he may only be doing that and he’s caught up in the rigid and monolithic rules the government burdens us with. What ever happened to keep it simple and get it resolved without turning citizens into criminals? If a bunch of stupid beavers did that and it was reeking havoc it would be okay for some reason.
        The “authorities” love fining us, even Obamacare has fines.

        • Maureen

          I imagine the family had to involve the world as a warning as to what could be coming for them even when you follow the rules.
          I worked for an engineer who said that if the city or government wants your property and if you didn’t want to sell the land that had been in your family for generations, they would just condemn it and get it for nothing. I have personally seen this done just to put apartment buildings in. Apartment buildings? We really need more of those that cannot be built elsewhere?
          I have also seen this done to widen a highway.

    • wwj745

      Since he got the proper permits from the State and the state approved his project. How exactly is he to blame and why should he have any problem at all? If the state did not have the authority to give him permission why is the EPA not going after the state?

      • RobertNorwood

        Because the EPA goes after citizens; it’s what all these big brother government agencies do.

        “If the state did not have the authority to give him permission why is the EPA not going after the state?”

        It’s doing what any good scavenger does when it comes up to a kill, barks off the other and takes the meat for itself.

        • wwj745

          Exactly. Even when they are wrong…

    • Washington22

      It SHOULD give him control over the water, just as long as he doesn’t stop it to the people below him. As long as he doesn’t contaminate it or stop it from reaching his neighbors down the way of it, he should be able to use the water……….that’s the way it has always been…….so I guess I disagree with you, Robert, and normally I always follow your posts with appreciation.