Wyoming landowner and EPA settle Clean Water Act lawsuit

The battle between A Wyoming man and the Environmental Protection Agency over more than $16 million in fines due to a stock pond on his property has come to an end. A settlement has been reached, allowing Andy Johnson of Uinta County to keep his pond and dismisses any any fines. “Under the settlement, the Johnson family’s pond will remain; they won't pay any fines; they don't concede any federal jurisdiction to regulate their pond; and the government won't pursue any further enforcement actions based on the pond's construction,” according to a release from Pacific Legal Foundation. The EPA claimed the pond Johnson built on his property was violating the Clean Water Act, and he was ordered to return the property to pre-pond conditions. If he didn’t, he’d be fined $37,500 a day. Over more than three years, those fines would have been well over $16 million. Wyoming's congressional delegation has weighed in on the situation. “It’s nice to see the EPA put in check a little bit. All the worry and angst that Mr. Johnson and his family had to go through, and even the embarrassment that the EPA should be experiencing right now, could easily have been avoided if only the EPA would follow the law instead of trying to make new laws on its own,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. “I appreciate Mr. Johnson’s determination to stand up to a bully. I’ll continue to work in the Senate to see that the EPA and other federal agencies that are expanding beyond their authority are no longer able to.” “That the EPA took as long as they did to admit their overreach and stop bullying and threatening the Johnson family is a gross abuse," U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis said. "This pond, on private land, was never under the federal agency’s purview and it was far past time the EPA realized that and backed down. I will continue fighting the EPA’s overreach in every form and at every level throughout the last throes of this reckless administration and I congratulate Andy Johnson and his family on this victory for all landowners.” #county10 #buckrail #reboot #springcity #oilcity #dally #county17 #shortgo #news