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By Damien M. Schiff

Will EPA faithfully implement Sackett v. EPA?

You’ll recall the brouhaha begun a few months ago when a senior EPA official was quoted as saying that it would be “same old, same old” at the agency irrespective of the Supreme Court’s decision authorizing landowners to sue when they receive an EPA compliance order  Shortly thereafter, over a dozen Senators signed a letter to EPA Administrator Jackson asking her, basically, “what gives?”  Ms Jackson’s subordinate finally answered that letter earlier this month  The EPA official explains that EPA fully intends to implement Sackett, to apprise landowners of their right to sue, and to ensure that orders are only issued following an extensive investigation  Let’s hope that

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By Jonathan Wood

EPA & enviros decide that suit against poultry farmer is for the birds

As we reported last month, the EPA has abandoned its case against a West Virginia poultry farmer for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act Last week, environmental groups followed suit, ending the case

The case began when the poultry farmer, Lois Alt, received a compliance order accusing her of violating the Clean Water Act because of runoff from her chicken coops, and threatening her with $75,000 a day in fines if she didn’t comply with EPA’s orders Relying on PLF’s Supreme Court victory in Sackett, Alt sued, arguing that the compliance order is illegal because there is an express exemption for “agricultural” stormwater runoff Once

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By Jonathan Wood

Our fight with EPA: Andy Johnson's story in his own words

As we reported yesterday, Andy Johnson’s case challenging an illegal compliance order demanding he rip out his stock pond on pain of tens of millions in potential fines has settled The following is Andy Johnson’s story in his own words

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By Jonathan Wood

PLF challenges EPA's threat of massive fines against innocent property owner for improving the environment

Andy Johnson owns eight acres of land in Fort Bridger, Wyoming, where he’s made his family’s home and raises livestock A small stream crosses his property and provides water for his livestock, as it has for prior owners going back decades In 2012, he erected a small dam on the stream to create a stock pond to provide more reliable, safer access to water for his animals

However, in creating that stock pond, Andy didn’t only think about the pond’s benefits for his animals He also sought to maximize its incidental environmental benefits And he was incredibly successful Wetlands and riparian areas sprang up around the pond It provides scarce,

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Sackett v. EPA: A due process problem of the Supreme Court's own making?

Some years ago, when I was an attorney here at Pacific Legal Foundation in our Environmental Law section, I worked on a Supreme Court wetlands case called Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC) In many ways, the Supreme Court’s decision in that case, and in two other cases, are precisely why the Sacketts are now in the Supreme Court challenging the EPA  Let me explain–and stay with me, because the twists and turns also reveal how the EPA has bootstrapped itself into a general federal land use agency

SWANCC dealt with something called the “migratory

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Yes, we do want to make it harder for the EPA

Recent articles or quotes about Sackett v EPA by environmentalists have foretold disaster if the Sacketts win their case against the EPA To them, landowners should not be able to haul EPA into court when they issue Compliance Orders, no matter how onerous those Orders are, because it would hinder the EPA’s ability, as they see it, to do its job–that is, to “promptly respond” to environmental threats For example, here’s a quote from one article:

Others, however, believe a victory by the Sacketts could “undermine the government’s ability to promptly respond to environmental threats,” as Nina Mendelson, a University of Michigan law

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By Damien M. Schiff

EPA brief filed in Sackett v. EPA

Last week EPA filed its response brief in Sackett v EPA  Our reply will be filed by the end of this month, with oral argument scheduled for January 9

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By Jonathan Wood

Would EPA let a private business get away with this?

Controversy continues to boil over the Animas River spill In case you don’t recall, this spill occurred late last year when EPA contractors burst a plugged mine, sending three million gallons of waste water (including arsenic) into the Animas River and other waterways EPA waited nearly 24 hours to tell anyone about the massive spill, significantly understated the size of the leak, and downplayed the risks of exposure to toxic chemicals (more…)

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More linguistic alchemy from EPA

EPADictionaries are apparently no match for EPA’s seemingly insatiable appetite for regulatory power As we’ve noted, EPA has gone from exploiting ambiguous words to redefining words in a way that defies their common meaning Only in EPA’s warped world does “navigable” include unnavigable, “surface water” include ground water, and “continuous flow” include occasional flow (more…)

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