Thursday, March 20, 2014

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Wyoming Welder Faces Fine for Building Pond on His Property

Casper--Andy Johnson built a stock pond on his eight-acre Wyoming farm and is now being harangued by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is threatening him with civil and criminal penalties up to and including $75,000 a day in fines. Johnson says he followed state rules when constructing the stock pond in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer's Office to prove it.

EPA officials claim Johnson violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says the stock pond he built-a man-made pond designed to attract wildlife-is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations. The story has generated a fair amount of media attention.

"Expanded EPA jurisdiction is going to mean headaches like this for farmers and ranchers everywhere," said Don Parrish, senior director of congressional relations at AFBF.

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