Paul Ryan cites PLF cases in WOTUS op-ed
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House and Congressman from Wisconsin, wrote a timely piece for today’s Omaha World Herald criticizing the EPA’s new waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition. Ryan aptly sets out that the new rule is about power, and nothing less:
The Obama administration’s sweeping new rule, dubbed Waters of the United States (WOTUS), could upend the way water is used across the country. Allegedly to protect the water supply, the Environmental Protection Agency has rewritten a long-standing regulation so that the EPA can micromanage everyone’s use of their own land, including that of farmers and ranchers.
Ryan points at two cases and two cases alone to demonstrate that the federal government wants to micromanage all the land in the country: Pacific Legal Foundation‘s Duarte Nursery v. Army Corps of Engineers case, and PLF’s Andy Johnson v. EPA case. Ryan describes these two examples of federal government environmental overreach well:
Real people have already suffered at the hand of WOTUS. Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger, Wyoming, was fined $37,500 a day by the EPA for building a pond on his land to water his horses, even though he had obtained state permits to do so. John Duarte of rural Tehama County in California was told that he broke the law simply by plowing his land. He was ordered to cease and desist immediately.
We agree with Speaker Ryan that there are few cases that better show the federal government’s overreach in regards to wetlands, and that is why we represent John Duarte and Andy Johnson free of charge (as we represent all our clients). We also have sued to stop the implementation of the new WOTUS rule; in the meantime, Congress, led by Speaker Ryan, passed a Congressional Review Act resolution today disapproving of the new WOTUS rule.
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Waters of the United States
In 2015, the EPA redefined waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act, expanding it to include essentially any tributary, no matter how small or remote; neighboring water bodies without any connection to a navigable water; and even isolated waters that are legally uncovered. Representing a coalition of landowners and small businesses, we challenged this illegal regulation. Our case has been consolidated with a number of other cases and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 11.Read more
What to read next
Next week, the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust law will hold a hearing entitled “Rulemakers Must Follow the Rules, Too: Oversight of Agency Compliance with the Congressional Review Act.” PLF’s Todd Gaziano has been invited to testify at the hearing.
Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.