American Elephants


The Court has Declared Obama’s “Waters of the United States Rule” Unlawful by The Elephant's Child

This is very good news indeed. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood stated that the rule, which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work. You may recall that the EPA implementation of that rule led to a Wyoming rancher being fined $37,000 a day for building a stock pond on his own property.

The rule was absurd, and Obama’s EPA waved it around viciously. The idea was that the U.S. had jurisdiction over the navigable waters of America, and by extension over the waters that flowed into said navigable waters, tracing them back to your springs or to the downspouts on your house. A control freaks kind of rule.

I found I have written around 19 posts about this rule. Here’s the one about those Wyoming ranchers. The headline I wrote then explains why: “Private property rights seem unimportant until they’re yours, and they’re gone.” The Johnsons had a small 8 acre ranch, and ran 10 head of cattle and 4 horses. That’s not what you’d call a big spread. They diverted a creek that runs through the property to create a stock pond. The EPA (Gina McCarthy) claimed the discharge from the pond flowed into navigable waters. Johnsons got help from Wyoming senators and the Pacific Legal Foundation. The Clean Water Act specifically excludes stock ponds. By the time Mr. Johnson’s counter lawsuit reached the courts the EPA fines had reached $16 million! Perhaps it’s because I grew up rural, and understand what such an attack means. This was only one of The EPA’s many depredations under this rule. The waters pictured above, Granite Creek, are not all that far from my old home.

This decision may be only one of many cases involving the same EPA ruling. Judge Wood wrote that while the agencies have authority to interpret the phrase “waters of the United States,” that authority isn’t limitless.”


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Freakin’ thugs lost, yay!

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