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Idaho Couple's Permit Fight Drags Wetlands Back to Supreme Court
New York Times/Greenwire ^

Posted on 09/19/2011 5:55:12 PM PDT by WilliamIII

PRIEST LAKE, Idaho -- Sitting unobtrusively across the road from a pristine lake in the northern Idaho panhandle, the half-acre lot covered with weeds and piles of gravel isn't much to look at.

And yet, in a few months' time, the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will decide its fate.

For four years the land has sat idle while its owners, Mike and Chantell Sackett, have been locked in a fight with U.S. EPA.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government; US: Idaho
KEYWORDS: coe; epa; govtabuse; idaho; rapeofliberty; tyranny; wetlands

1 posted on 09/19/2011 5:55:18 PM PDT by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

The EPA is a beard for numerous greenie so-called nonprofits.

The Corps. (corpse Obama?) of Engineers can drag things on for decades. It wastes our money like crazy and can have not only private property owners swimming in molasses for years it does the same with local governments.

In our local community you can see the same kind of garbage where Planning and Zoning will nuke a project because someone knows someone in city hall and they don’t want a property developed because it might kill trees or the project might compete with the interests of some old money in town. At least that is the way it was until some of us conservatives got other conservatives elected and we replaced the nuts on P&Z. We also straightened out the code enforcement folks and continue to restructure and clarify city ordinances,

The best kind of federal entity such as the EPA, the DOE and others like the Dept of education are ones that don’t exist. Those three need to be scaled back 95% or shut down!


2 posted on 09/19/2011 6:12:05 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Sharia? No thanks.)
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To: isthisnickcool

“......Those three need to be scaled back 95% or shut down!....”

Agreed


3 posted on 09/19/2011 6:19:15 PM PDT by Former MSM Viewer
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...
A spokesman for the Army Corps confirmed that, under an agreement between his agency and EPA, the corps could not process a permit application until the enforcement action was concluded even if the Sacketts were willing to play ball....EPA subsequently sent the Sacketts a compliance order that told them to restore the site or face penalties, including fines of as much as $32,500 a day.

Government colluding with Government and using blatant extortion to annihilate any semblance of these American's property rights.



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
4 posted on 09/19/2011 6:25:00 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: isthisnickcool
DOE and others like the Dept of Educ

Hey, let's throw in the Dept of Agric where they have more bureaucrats than there are farmers.

The Dept of Educ is nothing more than a cabinet seat at the president's table for the NEA . . . can't find a difference.

5 posted on 09/19/2011 6:40:05 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: WilliamIII

This is a perfect example of bureaucracy gone wild. No unelected bureaucrat should be allowed to make any decision that is binding with the force of law. When the EPA thinks a law should be made to protect the environment, they should write up legislation and submit it to our legislature for passing. That’s why we elect people.


6 posted on 09/19/2011 6:42:57 PM PDT by budj (beam me up, scotty...)
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To: laweeks
The winning GOP candidate would do well to mention this and ask, can't we get by with one government bow-wow for every ten farmers ?

How about every 25 ?

7 posted on 09/19/2011 6:48:01 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (I want a Triple A president for our Triple A country)
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To: WilliamIII
The Sacketts could not afford to buy a pricey house directly on the shore, but the 0.63 acre plot was close enough that if you stand in the right spot you can see the water glistening a couple of hundred yards away. From the rear of the property, there would be direct access to the water, albeit across a road.

A friend sold them the site for $23,000. By 2007, having obtained building permits from the county, the Sacketts began the building process by spreading fill material over the lot.

Then, one day, three people showed up: two from EPA and one from the Army Corps of Engineers.

OK I am a bit perplexed.

What does the Army Corps of Engineers have to do with this property?

It is private property and it is not on the lake. They have building permits from the county. The ACE should pound sand and go home.

8 posted on 09/19/2011 6:49:33 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Pontiac
What does the Army Corps of Engineers have to do with this property?

I think they have a federal regulatory function concerning wetlands and drainage. Unfortunately, they are getting the squeeze between a county that permitted them to build and the feds that find "wetlands" in some pretty amazing places.

9 posted on 09/19/2011 7:06:47 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Pontiac
What does the Army Corps of Engineers have to do with this property?

If it was classified as a wetland, spreading the fill without a CoE permit would have been a violation.

Yep, I went to the link. That's what happened. And an excavation contractor should have known better. It's not like the law is new - I learned about it the hard way back in the mid-1980s.

And it appears that the case is going up on due process grounds, rather than a dispute as to the merits. If the contractor wins, he still has to get a permit from the CoE.

10 posted on 09/19/2011 7:08:01 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Pontiac

The Army CE should have nothing to do with it, any more than they had the right to tell our town that the Corp of E had to approve before the town could move a couple of steel statues 10 yards from one spot to another more spot that was made especially for them. It’s crazy. It took two years to get approval to move two free-standing statues.


11 posted on 09/19/2011 7:11:40 PM PDT by WVNan (!)
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To: isthisnickcool

Its all part of a greater plan...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkcsdObf-94&feature=player_embedded


12 posted on 09/19/2011 7:14:56 PM PDT by Rennes Templar (Obama's jobs speech: re-arranging deck chairs on his Titanic.)
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To: USNBandit; PAR35
So the EPA comes in and classifies their property after they have bought the property and after they have obtained permits and begun construction.

Then they order them to restore the property before they will even consider talking to them about whether the property is a wet land or not.

This agency is in desperate need of defunding.

13 posted on 09/19/2011 7:16:47 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Pontiac

See video in post 12....


14 posted on 09/19/2011 7:28:56 PM PDT by Rennes Templar (Obama's jobs speech: re-arranging deck chairs on his Titanic.)
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To: Pontiac
So the EPA comes in and classifies their property after they have bought the property

The date of classification wasn't clear in what I read

and after they have obtained permits and begun construction.

Except that pesky CoE permit.

Then they order them to restore the property before they will even consider talking to them about whether the property is a wet land or not.

If they are trying to get it re-classified, they might as well bounce off a brick wall. If they want to build a house, they need to apply for a permit - the classification of the property wouldn't change.

This agency is in desperate need of defunding.

There is benefit to that, but are you going to defund the US Army as well? Because that who isn't giving them the permit.

15 posted on 09/19/2011 7:32:57 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: budj
Folks in the Executive branch make decisions all the time ~ that have the binding force of law BECAUSE, as it turns out, they are enforcing the law.

There's a thing called FINAL AGENCY DECISION ~ and once that's issued if you don't like it you can go to federal district court ~ if it hasn't been issued the courts will tell you to go back to the Executive branch and get a final decision. Without it Due Process of Law has not been completed.

It seems to me this deal between the Corps of Engineers and EPA is a tad weird. Once EPA makes a decision, that should be the end of it ~ and the property owner could take the question to court.

What's going on here is the Corps of Engineers has been assigned the responsibility for issuing Final Agency Decision, but the trick is they can't act until any deficiency cited by EPA has been cleared.

Basically EPA, and the Corps, are playing a flim flam game that probably should result in some lawyers for both agencies being disbarred, tried for conspiring against the courts, and then tossed into prison for life.

That's for starters.

I really do know the type of bureaucrat who would come up with a structure like this, and they are not nice, nor are they normal. I spent many years making sure infernal machinery was REMOVED from processes, yet, you'll find them sticking it in the most obscure spots ~ it's like they're possessed.

I'm guessing that even the Diesel Dyke on the Court is going to find this process defective in the extreme.

16 posted on 09/19/2011 7:44:52 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah; WilliamIII

All this coulda been avoided if they woulda just ask-ed for a bit-o-honey from my bros, ummm... friends of little consequence over in Hayden Lake.


17 posted on 09/19/2011 7:58:52 PM PDT by bigheadfred (But alas)
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To: PAR35

What has happened is that the Supreme Court has twice told the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers that it has overstepped its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. First in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook Cty. v. Army Corps of Engineers where the Supreme Court invalidated the Corp’s Migratory Bird Rule. That is if migratory water fowl would land on your property it was considered a wetland. Second was Rapanos v. United States where the the Corp and EPA tried to convince the Supreme Court that “Navigable Waters” included underground conduits. Scalia wrote a scathing opinion, but Kennedy wrote a wishy washy concurrence.

This latest issue is the EPA and Corp’s “work around” those two opinions. They declare it a wetland and set forth bureaucratic hoops which the plaintiffs must go through before they challenge the designation of a wetland. I think the Supreme Court has seen this for what it is; namely the EPA and the Corp thumbing their noses at the court.

If I had to bet, I would say this will be strike three for the Corp and EPA


18 posted on 09/19/2011 8:13:27 PM PDT by ALPAPilot
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To: PAR35

The COE should have been separated from the army decades ago. It serves no useful function within the active army and is a civil engineering function. It’s functions probably should be with the Commerce Dept. and only advisory when two or more states are involved in a disagreement.


19 posted on 09/19/2011 8:13:34 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: WilliamIII

My Dad had a college buddy who owned a very small cabin on the northern reaches of Priest Lake. No electricity (propane refrigerator and stove, kerosene lamps) and no road to the cabin (boat only). It was a beautiful retreat. I always wonder what happened to that place. I figure the EPA probably took it away from him for encroaching on the lake shore.


20 posted on 09/19/2011 8:19:34 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: PAR35
There is benefit to that, but are you going to defund the US Army as well? Because that who isn't giving them the permit.

If it is the EPA objecting to the issuance of the permit how could a defunded EPA object.

Also if the land had previously been designated a wet land that should have been disclosed before the sale and be noted as a restriction on the deed.

As a man is construction I don’t think he would touch a piece of land with a wet land designation.

21 posted on 09/19/2011 8:23:18 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: USNBandit

Exactly right. A “wetland” is any low depression that collects a puddle in a rainstorm. There was a very dangerous intersection in Half Moon Bay, CA where a number of motorists and pedestrians were killed. The city wanted to put in a stop light, but couldn’t because the ditch beside the road was declared a “wetland” and they couldn’t put in any fill to provide a foundation and base for the stoplight standard.

We are governed by idiots with the long arm of the law behind them. Just sickening.


22 posted on 09/19/2011 8:25:15 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: OldDeckHand; tired_old_conservative; Lurking Libertarian; JDW11235; Clairity; TheOldLady; ...

SCOTUS ping.

(Anyone on/off, freepmail me.)


23 posted on 09/19/2011 8:32:39 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: ALPAPilot

Here in the San Francisco Bay Region, a land owner in Sonoma County had the Army Corps of Engineers declare his man-made stock pond a “wetland.” This is just another example of a Congress that can’t legislate it’s way out of it’s own ass. The Corps should be disbanded and the EPA shut down. They are simply class warfare types that object to people enjoying their own property. The other thing that they do is put a land owner on the permit merry-go-round. By the time that permit #4 is issued, permits 1,2 &3 have “expired.” Ergo, you go around and around and never get to build. I have had personal experiences with the Coast Guard with respect to “navigable:\” waterways. Your water runs into a drain, that runs into a creek, that runs into a river, that finally runs into San Francisco Bay. So by extension, your drainage is a “navigable waterway. Funny thing was, I didn’t see the Coast Guard Cutter parked out back.


24 posted on 09/19/2011 9:09:23 PM PDT by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: WilliamIII

I suspect that there is more to this story...like someone (well connected) next door not wanting the property to be developed.


25 posted on 09/19/2011 10:04:37 PM PDT by proudpapa (Palin-West - 2012)
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To: PAR35

I would defund the U.S. army as well. Whats the point of having an army if its used to rob us of our right to govern ourselfs and do with our own property as we see fit just like a foreign enemy would?

We might as well invite the communist Chinese the U.S. army has been charged with doing their repressive job for em.

Certainly de-fund the EPA and the army. Indeed if it were up to me I’d prosecute and jail the members of the said organizations that carried out theses unconstitutional usurpation.

Only following orders or “acts as written by congress” is no excuses for ignoring the clear limits of your congressional authority to rob a family of their rights. The Army Engineers should be made an example of.

Lawless Governments should NOT find it so easy to find agents to carry out their unauthorized evil.


26 posted on 09/20/2011 3:21:11 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Some years ago, I knew a developer who had done some site prep for a largish suburban commercial office / office-warehouse development. Cut in roads, graded for building pads, and, here’s the key point, put in some curb and gutter. Thing went slow, and the site ended up sitting for a couple years.

One of the building sites had curb and gutter around it such that it trapped rainwater. Guy goes out there and there are some cattails growing. RED FLAG, KLAXON ALARM - that could be considered a wetland!

He very quickly and quietly nuked the cattails and ripped out 20’ or so of the curb and gutter on the downhill side (what downhill there was, it was a pretty flat site) so that the water no longer got trapped. Problem solved.


27 posted on 09/20/2011 3:45:40 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: bamahead; All

” Government colluding with Government and using blatant extortion to annihilate any semblance of these American’s property rights.”

Like trying to stop Al Capone in 1920’s Chicago....


28 posted on 09/20/2011 6:32:37 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: FreedomPoster

He was very smart. What a totally absurd world we live in — and we let “the government of the people, by the people” do this to us!


29 posted on 09/20/2011 7:50:35 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Bookmark


30 posted on 09/21/2011 12:07:32 AM PDT by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: WilliamIII

mark


31 posted on 09/22/2011 2:53:56 PM PDT by Ladysmith (The evil that's happening in this country is the cancer of socialism...It kills the human spirit.)
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