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(Opposing Views)   Man fined $75,000 per day for building something on his own property that he got a permit to build   (opposingviews.com) divider line 45
    More: Strange, EPA, Wyoming, ponds  
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21977 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Mar 2014 at 5:12 PM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-03-21 05:23:08 PM  
9 votes:
Somehow, I doubt this is just a pond that fills from rainfall on his land. If it's a waterway, you can't just dam it up and waste most of it through evaporation in order to give your horsies and duckies a drink, and afford your grandchildren an opportunity to drown. Wyoming averages only about 22 inches of rainfall a year; downstream water rights are a big farking deal. This might be just a bureaucratic SNAFU by the EPA, but it very well might not be, too.
2014-03-21 05:30:07 PM  
7 votes:

Hydra: mbillips: Somehow, I doubt this is just a pond that fills from rainfall on his land. If it's a waterway, you can't just dam it up and waste most of it through evaporation in order to give your horsies and duckies a drink, and afford your grandchildren an opportunity to drown. Wyoming averages only about 22 inches of rainfall a year; downstream water rights are a big farking deal. This might be just a bureaucratic SNAFU by the EPA, but it very well might not be, too.

It's an oversized puddle. You're an idiot.


From the Fox story:  The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways.

If you dam up a creek, you're taking water from people downstream, no matter how small the pond. That's no big deal where I live, where we get 45 inches of rain a year. It's a Big Farking Deal out west. People have been shot for a lot less.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-21 04:29:31 PM  
4 votes:
The EPA has delegated a lot of Clean Water Act permitting authority to the state of Wyoming. (epa.gov) That state permit is not just a worthless piece of paper when the feds come calling.
2014-03-21 04:18:58 PM  
4 votes:
You can't go around damming waterways, citizen.
2014-03-21 06:13:59 PM  
3 votes:

boyvoyeur: Landowner - I want to build a pond and dam a waterway and discharge water elsewhere on my property.

State Government - OK, you can build a pond.

Federal Government - Wait, your pond is fine. We got issues with the other stuff you did damning of a creek you do not own, and that your pond water and runoff is going into other waterways that you also do not own

Landowner - But, but... I got a thought my permit was carte blanche. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.


FTFY
He rants on about rights and other right-wing talking points, neglecting that those around him have the right to not be affected by his "dream" pond.
2014-03-21 04:53:16 PM  
3 votes:
FTFA: "I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules."


Favorite line in the article. I am sympathetic the the guy and hope that this all resolves in his favor, but those two phrases, side by side, are very funny
2014-03-21 04:29:56 PM  
3 votes:
2014-03-21 09:59:38 PM  
2 votes:
Okay, this guy is a confirmed total dumbass with a persecution complex. From the doc linked above here's the relevant section on what he did wrong:

4. Six Mile Creek is a perennial tributary of the Blacks Fork River, which is a perennial tributary of the Green River. The Green River is, and was at all relevant times, a navigable, interstate water of the United States.
5. In or about the summer and early fall of2012, Respondent or persons acting on his behalf began construction activities, without a CWA section 404 permit, within and adjacent to Six Mile Creek that resulted in the discharge of dredged and fill material to the creek below the ordinary high water mark.
6. On October 11,2012, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) conducted an inspection of the Site and confirmed that Respondent or persons acting on his behalf had discharged or allowed the discharge of approximately 12 cubic yards of dredged and fill material below the ordinary high water mark of Six Mile Creek during construction of a dam. The work resulted in filling an approximately 40-foot reach of the creek and inundation of an approximately reach.
7. On September 5, 2012, the Corps contacted Mr. Johnson by telephone to inquire about the dam construction activities at the Site and authorization for the work. The Corps also informed Respondent of the Corps' CWA regulatory authority and requested that Respondent send information about the dam construction project to the Corps. The Corps did not receive any such information from Respondent following that telephone conversation.
8. On October 26,2012, the Corps sent a letter to Respondent notifying him that a standard project-specific CWA permit would have been required prior to the dam construction activities, but that an application for such a permit was never received by the Corps and authorization was never granted. Therefore, the project was performed in violation of section 30 I (a) of the CW A, 33 U .S.C. § 1311 (a). The October 26, 2012, letter further ordered Respondent to cease and desist any further earth-moving activities at the Site.
9. On February 7, 2013, the Corps referred this case to the EPA for enforcement in accordance with the "Memorandum of Agreement Between the Department of the Army and the Papc 2 of IO Environmental Protection Agency Concerning Federal Enforcement of the Section 404 Program of the Clean Water Act," dated January 19, 1989,
10. On May 30,2013, the EPA performed an inspection of the Site and verified that an approximately 40-foot reach of Six Mile Creek had been filled during the construction of a dam, impacting approximately 785 feet of the Six Mile Creek channeL The dam was observed to be composed of sand, gravel, clay, and concrete blocks.

So the guy was clearly informed by phone that we would need a CWA permit and he was asked to provide information. In response to this he did not get a permit and did not give any information. He basically ignored the warning and request for information and just kept right on with building the pond and dam. Then almost two months later he got a letter again making clear that he needed a permit and that his continued activity was in violation. In response to all this he continues ignoring the issue and continues to build. So recently the agency probably sent him a strongly worded letter that listed the penalties for his violations, and he clutches his pearls and heads off to Fox News to flog his story of persecution when in reality he's a complete dumbass who brought this all on himself by intentionally ignoring the warning he received and waving a state permit that has nothing to do with allowing him to discharge large amounts of fill into the creek.
2014-03-21 08:00:44 PM  
2 votes:

James!: You had a permit, but not the right permit.


He had the right permit. Look at that word navigable in the clean water act. The EPA tries to pretend it doesnt exist. Now they are playing connect the dots to claim this creek is a tributary of a tributary of navigable waters. By this logic my toilet is navigable water.
2014-03-21 05:50:47 PM  
2 votes:
We were accused of this about 15 years ago - we had been digging a giant hole since we needed a bunch of fill dirt (and we thought a pond might be nice someday in the future), but a storm cause the nearby creek to divert into our new "pond". Someone complained and EPA came out to investigate. PAIN in the rear.

We got out of any fines because we had the permits for the hole and it was obvious that the stream had diverted naturally, so we actually received permission to re-divert the creek until we were done with our hole and then divert it back into the hole afterwards. Woot!
2014-03-21 05:46:07 PM  
2 votes:
"This goes a lot further than a pond,"

No, no it doesn't. You're not a freedom fighter. This is a bureaucratic issue. Calm down.
2014-03-21 05:45:42 PM  
2 votes:
Dude had a permit to build a stock pond. Damming a creek is a different matter altogether.
2014-03-21 05:31:11 PM  
2 votes:
People saying you can't just damn up a waterway are not paying attention.  In fact, you can do so if you have a permit.  This guy got a permit.  He did everything he could possibly do to make a legitimate stock pond.

I suspect that most people have never been to Wyoming.  The idea that the Federal government has any interest in a duck pond in Wyoming is zero.  This guy is just caught in the middle of politics he has no control over.
2014-03-21 05:31:06 PM  
2 votes:
While I feel for them...

FTA: "We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream."

After this is all over, they really need to sit down with someone who can help him set better goals.
2014-03-21 05:28:39 PM  
2 votes:

tricycleracer: The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Should have just hired some undocumented Canadian beavers to build it for him.


www.benzworld.org

Yeah, I vote for that.
2014-03-21 05:22:31 PM  
2 votes:
don't even think of messing with any existing waterway.  Chances are, the US cops of engineers has jurisdiction over it and they don't want any of your nonsense.

if you want a stock tank, fill it with tap water.  You'll save in the long run.
2014-03-21 03:57:32 PM  
2 votes:
You had a permit, but not the right permit.
2014-03-22 01:48:09 AM  
1 votes:

Nutsac_Jim: Thrag: Nutsac_Jim: What a bunch of cocks.

I know, this guy, Fox News, Opposing View, and of course subby, are really a bunch of cocks for trying to turn this into a persecution story.

It looks like they are just saying there is some dirt spillover into the creek via his building of the pond.

 http://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/rhc/epaadmin.nsf/filings/6c6ec0f783d2b5 3985 257c7c00214564/$file/cwa%2008%202014%200012%20ao.pdf

Although the owner says the CWA does not apply because of the type of pond.

Thanks for posting that, it shows that the EPA is threatening this poor guy with the horrible punishment of having to submit plans and clean up any mess he created. The horror. The horror.

Yes, and apparently, he is saying it is a stock pond and thus, does not have to convert the wetland to a wetland.


And instead of giving the CoE information to that effect he chose to ignore them. His own complete negligence and stupidity is to blame for the situation. If what he is saying it true he should have given the Corps of Engineers the information they requested and they might have found that what he did was totally fine. Instead he acted like a dumbass and got himself in hot water for refusing to comply with even a simple request for information about the construction. He was called on Sept. 5, 2012. The issue wasn't referred to the EPA until months after when the guy simply refused to provide any information.

It's like a guy who gets pulled over for a broken taillight. Unless they behave like a complete dumbass all they are going to get a warning or at worst a ticket that says they have to fix the tail light within 30 days or pay a fine. This is the guy who mouths off to the cop and rambles on like "How dare you pull me over! I have a driver's license!", rips up the ticket, and then screams oppression when the cop writes up another ticket. All he has to do was give details of his project to the CoE and if what people are saying about the stock pond exception is true he would have had no problem. Instead he created the problem for himself.
2014-03-21 11:01:19 PM  
1 votes:

cirby: Thrag:
4. Six Mile Creek is a perennial tributary of the Blacks Fork River, which is a perennial tributary of the Green River. The Green River is, and was at all relevant times, a navigable, interstate water of the United States.

In other words, the non-navigable creek feeds, from time to time, into a non-navigable river, which feeds into an actual navigable river. It's like arguing that a dirt road that connects to a gravel road which connects to an Interstate highway is also an Interstate highway.

So he's two removes away from the actual jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA.

Like I posted above: the EPA is trying to expand the definition of "navigable waterway" to pretty much any source of water. So the water that flows across your yard into a ditch behind your house is now under their jurisdiction, according to the same theory.


That's an issue that can certainly be argued in the courts or clarified through additional legislation. It doesn't change what a complete dumbass the guy was to completely ignore the warnings and requests for information and just keep right on dumping fill into the creek.

In alternative universe Fark, where the headlines are sarcastically correct instead of total bullshiat, this headline would read:

"Man who repeatedly ignored warnings that he needs a permit before dumping tons of fill into a creek while building a dam and a stock pond whines like a biatch when he's told of the penalties for continuing to ignore the fact that he needed a permit"
2014-03-21 08:26:51 PM  
1 votes:
Fracking companies and such still dumping millions of gallons of waste-water into the environment.

This guy just pissed off the wrong person somehow, this almost has to be personal.
puntito131.puntopressllc.netdna-cdn.com
2014-03-21 08:17:19 PM  
1 votes:

Semantic Warrior: boyvoyeur: Landowner - I want to build a pond and dam a waterway and discharge water elsewhere on my property.

State Government - OK, you can build a pond.

Federal Government - Wait, your pond is fine. We got issues with the other stuff you did damning of a creek you do not own, and that your pond water and runoff is going into other waterways that you also do not own

Landowner - But, but... I got a thought my permit was carte blanche. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.

FTFY
He rants on about rights and other right-wing talking points, neglecting that those around him have the right to not be affected by his "dream" pond.


I swear. Do any of you know how stock ponds work? Once filled they act as a pass through. There is no damming. He got the permits necessary. This is not navigable waters, the EPA has claimed since ot was a tributary of a tributary of navigable waters they have authority. The supreme court disagrees. The EPA is currently trying to remove the word navigable through rule making. This will be yet another loss to the EPA in the D.C. circuit. They already got struck down for these finds without allowing judicial review just last year.

God Damon some of you people seem to love in authoritarian governments.

Do you think this is the forst farking stock pond in history? They are fairly common and this person followed the way to do it.

Some of you liberals won't be happy until we reach the same level of government as in hitchhiker guide to the galaxy.

Seriously sad some of you support this overreach.
2014-03-21 08:07:08 PM  
1 votes:

Ambitwistor: Boloxor the Insipid: People saying you can't just damn up a waterway are not paying attention.  In fact, you can do so if you have a permit.  This guy got a permit.  He did everything he could possibly do to make a legitimate stock pond.

As James! said, he apparently didn't have the right permit:  the EPA claims that he needed to get one from the Army Corps of Engineers, and did not.  If so, I feel bad for the guy:  it's hard to navigate the bureaucracy.  But it doesn't give him a legal right.


You ignorant liberals realize the EPA has a string of cases they have lost overstepping their authority.

There was no dam. It was a stock pond once filled the creek continues to flow. Learn what a stock pond is.

This is not a navigable waterway. That word is important.

The USSC and DC circuit have plenty of prior precedence regarding stock ponds and the EPA.

STOP thinking the federal government is always right.
2014-03-21 07:56:29 PM  
1 votes:

gravy chugging cretin.: CourtroomWolf: Nutsac_Jim: mbillips: If you dam up a creek, you're taking water from people downstream, no matter how small the pond.

I hear it will all make its way down eventually.  You arent taking it.  You are just delaying that gallon of water a little bit.   Unless he dammed himself Lake Erie, they will get the water.   A horse is still going to drink a gallon of water that will not make it downstream..

It creates a larger surface area for evaporation.

Increased erosion downstream from his pretty pretty little dam.


How is there more erosion downstream?  The guy in front of you said there would be less water.

Make up your minds.


// I never knew ponds magically make more water.
2014-03-21 07:36:30 PM  
1 votes:

proteus_b: If any of you wonder why it would be a good idea to disband the EPA, this is one fine example.


So are you a functioning retard, or did someone forget to monitor your internet use?
2014-03-21 07:21:09 PM  
1 votes:

CourtroomWolf: Nutsac_Jim: mbillips: If you dam up a creek, you're taking water from people downstream, no matter how small the pond.

I hear it will all make its way down eventually.  You arent taking it.  You are just delaying that gallon of water a little bit.   Unless he dammed himself Lake Erie, they will get the water.   A horse is still going to drink a gallon of water that will not make it downstream..

It creates a larger surface area for evaporation.


And the pond stores up water when it rains too quickly.  This means more steady supply of water downstream.  More usable water.
2014-03-21 06:58:00 PM  
1 votes:

mbillips: If you dam up a creek, you're taking water from people downstream, no matter how small the pond.


I hear it will all make its way down eventually.  You arent taking it.  You are just delaying that gallon of water a little bit.   Unless he dammed himself Lake Erie, they will get the water.   A horse is still going to drink a gallon of water that will not make it downstream..
2014-03-21 06:45:42 PM  
1 votes:

rynthetyn: Dude had a permit to build a stock pond. Damming a creek is a different matter altogether.


umm...that's how you build stock ponds.   You do realize there is both an inflow to the pond and outflow on the dam, right?  Water comes into a small 3-5 foot pool and flows out on the other side.   The evaporation is minimal, the impact from livestock drinking or walking in it is zero since they would have been drinking or walking thru the creek anyway.   The only real impact is 5-10k gallons of water.  If that's a problem, just have him dump that much water into the creek and call it even.
2014-03-21 06:22:55 PM  
1 votes:
Oh, I am so tired of hearing this stupid story splattered everywhere about this guy and his f*cking pond.
2014-03-21 06:10:19 PM  
1 votes:

jst3p: "This goes a lot further than a pond," he said. "It's about a person's rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land.

DAMN RIGHT!

I followed the rules."

Oh, so you let the government tell you what you can do on your land.


And probably one of those people that works kids/parenting into everything like it's a badge of entitlement.
2014-03-21 06:08:13 PM  
1 votes:

Arcturus72: jst3p: This is why people who don't live in an HOA protected community deserve what they get!


/or something

That's what I thought this was about after just reading the headline, and was ready for all kinds of HOA hatred, but then I RTFA...


There is a better joke to be made, but it isn't coming to me.
2014-03-21 06:06:50 PM  
1 votes:
Hmmm... the Feds have the ultimate authority over "navigable waterways", which, under Federal law are defined as being waterways 3ft deep or deeper, and Congress has delegated authority over "navigable waterways" to the Army Corps of Engineers. *If* the stream in question is in that category, then Wyoming has to have permission from the ACE to grant permits to block said waterways, and also probably has to inform the ACE of such blockages. And the ACE will probably ask for an Environmental Impact Statement on said blockage that says, when all is said and done "No impact", before telling the state to allow said blockage. And good luck with getting the EPA to approve a blockage. If the state of Wyoming issued a permit, there were probably conditions attached that were not followed somewhere which is what is bringing the EPA down on these people.
2014-03-21 06:05:09 PM  
1 votes:
While I work for a local government (environmental) agency back east, I do admit that the permitting process can be arduous. Between the county, state, and feds, you may be right with one but not the others, and the onus is on the property owner.
2014-03-21 05:59:17 PM  
1 votes:
Landowner - I want to build a pond and dam a waterway and discharge water elsewhere on my property.

Government - OK, you can build a pond.

Government - Wait, your pond is fine. We got issues with the other stuff you did.

Landowner - But, but... I got a permit. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.
2014-03-21 05:59:07 PM  
1 votes:
According to the Fox News story

Everything beyond these words is inconsequential.
2014-03-21 05:58:55 PM  
1 votes:

Boloxor the Insipid: People saying you can't just damn up a waterway are not paying attention.  In fact, you can do so if you have a permit.  This guy got a permit.  He did everything he could possibly do to make a legitimate stock pond.

I suspect that most people have never been to Wyoming.  The idea that the Federal government has any interest in a duck pond in Wyoming is zero.  This guy is just caught in the middle of politics he has no control over.


Yeah, it's not like waterways start there or anything.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-21 05:49:01 PM  
1 votes:
dstrick44

Apparently he is claiming an exemption from permit under CWA section 404(f)(1)(C). (epa.gov)

"the discharge of dredge or fill material ... for the purpose of construction or maintenance of farm or stock ponds or irrigation ditches, or the maintenance of drainage ditches ... is not prohibited by or otherwise subject to regulation".

If the exemption does not apply, he needed an ACE permit to build the water body. EPA says he has to prove to their satisfaction that his water body is within the exemption. He says EPA has to prove he is not subject to the exemption.
2014-03-21 05:42:02 PM  
1 votes:

Boloxor the Insipid: People saying you can't just damn up a waterway are not paying attention.  In fact, you can do so if you have a permit.  This guy got a permit.  He did everything he could possibly do to make a legitimate stock pond.

I suspect that most people have never been to Wyoming.  The idea that the Federal government has any interest in a duck pond in Wyoming is zero.  This guy is just caught in the middle of politics he has no control over.


Right, but there may have been terms of the permit that he's now violating - say, keeping fertilizer concentrations in the pond runoff below a certain amount or whatever. Without knowing the nature of the specific complaints from the EPA or the exact nature of what's he was permitted to do, it's hard for me to choose one side or another right now.
2014-03-21 05:38:46 PM  
1 votes:
Damn. That's not a pond, that's a reservoir.
2014-03-21 05:36:14 PM  
1 votes:
...he has an April 2012 letter form the Wyoming State Engineer's Office...

Letter != Permit

Permit:
www.nashville.gov

Letter:
www.christiansarkar.com
2014-03-21 05:33:00 PM  
1 votes:
I wonder who narc'ed on him?
2014-03-21 05:24:28 PM  
1 votes:

mbillips: Somehow, I doubt this is just a pond that fills from rainfall on his land. If it's a waterway, you can't just dam it up and waste most of it through evaporation in order to give your horsies and duckies a drink, and afford your grandchildren an opportunity to drown. Wyoming averages only about 22 inches of rainfall a year; downstream water rights are a big farking deal. This might be just a bureaucratic SNAFU by the EPA, but it very well might not be, too.


It's an oversized puddle. You're an idiot.
2014-03-21 05:20:21 PM  
1 votes:

macadamnut: My wife and I built the pond together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it.

I'm not surprised the EPA got involved.


Putting water into it would have been a lot easier.
2014-03-21 05:20:04 PM  
1 votes:
Didn't some guy get his property taken by the EPA for clearing a deadfall that was blocking a ditch?

/ sounds like the guy did his due diligence; but, didn't pay off the EPA guy with beer and steak
2014-03-21 04:43:02 PM  
1 votes:

James!: You can't go around damming waterways, citizen.


please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
2014-03-21 04:14:07 PM  
1 votes:
Pick up that can, citizen.
 
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