Articles

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

August 27, 2015 | By JONATHAN WOOD

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 … ...

Articles

Orwellian language in the Clean Water Act

August 31, 2015 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Recent press coverage of PLF’s challenge to the compliance order that Andy Johnson received from the EPA has highlighted some of the Orwellian language in the Clean Water Act. As you’ll recall, EPA is threatening Andy with tens of millions of dollars in fines for constructing an environmentally-beneficial stock pond on his private prope ...

Articles

The lesson of the Animas River spill

September 10, 2015 | By JONATHAN WOOD

In the Wall Street Journal, attorney and former high-ranking EPA official Bill Wehrum has an op-ed $ arguing that the Animas River spill shouldn’t lead to criminal punishment, but neither should similar accidents caused by private companies. As you’ll undoubtedly recall, last month workers for EPA accidentally breached an abandoned mine ...

Articles

Congress questions EPA about Andy Johnson's stock pond

October 05, 2015 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Several weeks ago, the New York Times ran a front page article about the Andy Johnson’s stock pond and the EPA compliance order threatening him with more than $16 million in fines. Here’s a taste: The sun was sinking and the brook trout were biting, so Andy Johnson and his daughter Aspen, 6, stepped onto … ...

Articles

What if the Clean Water Act is unconstitutionally vague?

April 04, 2016 | By JONATHAN WOOD

As regular readers know, PLF argued a case in the Supreme Court of the United States last week, U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes Co., concerning whether property owners can have their day in court when the federal government declares their land subject to federal control. During the oral argument, Justice Kennedy — long-considered the “swing ...

Articles

Settlement in Wyoming stock pond case

May 09, 2016 | By JONATHAN WOOD

The Johnson family’s long ordeal with EPA, concerning their construction of an environmentally-friendly stock pond on their private property, is finally over. After ordering Andy Johnson to remove the pond, on pain of tens of millions of dollars in potential fines, the federal government has agreed to settle the case. Importantly, under the s ...

Articles

The fight against overcriminalization continues

December 05, 2016 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Last week, PLF’s motion to intervene was granted in a case threatening to radically expand criminal liability under the Endangered Species Act. As you may recall, we represent several southwestern agricultural organizations who, like pretty much everyone else, face the prospect of imprisonment for innocent mistakes if this case succeeds.  ...

Articles

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

October 09, 2019 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Today, the president is signing an executive order designed to bring more accountability to federal agencies. This executive order comes partly as a result of PLF research and cases battling bureaucratic overreach. PLF client Andy Johnson will be at the signing ceremony. Below is an article from 2016 that Andy wrote describing, in his own … ...