Skip to comments.Federal Government Says a Farmer Broke the Law by Plowing His Land
Posted on 07/03/2016 7:36:09 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Earlier this month a federal court in California ruled that a farmer plowing his land without a permit from the federal government is breaking the law. In 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers, without any notice or due process, ordered the owners of Duarte Nursery to cease use of their land for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA). The violation: plowing. The California court agreed with the federal governments action, despite the fact the CWA specifically exempts normal agricultural activities like plowing from regulation.
This overreaching assertion of federal power is not an isolated incident. For decades, the EPA and the Army Corps have aggressively sought to stretch the bounds of the CWA. When Congress passed the CWA, the federal government was given regulatory authority over navigable waters, which the statute additionally defines as waters of the United States. While the word navigable may seem to have an obvious meaning to most Americans as bodies of water that can be navigated by watercraft, federal bureaucrats have identified these terms as a license for a massive regulatory land grab.
Asserting ambiguity, the EPA has tried to use the CWA language to claim control over essentially any water which eventually might find its way into a navigable waterway. They have asserted jurisdiction not just over logical sources like large tributaries of navigable waters or wetlands immediately adjacent to rivers but have tried to reach their regulatory arms to isolated puddles or dry stream beds which only see running water during large rainstorms. This overreach has been repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court, most recently in 2001 and 2006. But these repeated rebukes have not stopped the regulators.
In June of 2015, EPA finalized yet another rule seeking to broadly define waters of the US under the CWA. Like its previous attempts, this rule goes well beyond any reasonable definition of navigable waters. The rule would require federal permits even for ditches and puddles, almost any water within the boundaries of the United States. This sort of excessive permitting requirement would impose new costs on virtually every American: not just farmers, but anyone who owns land.
Thankfully, this new rule has been put on hold nationwide for the moment by federal courts while its legality and constitutionality is challenged, but the danger remains. The bureaucrats have made clear with their repeated attempts at overreach using the CWA that they will not be dissuaded by the courts, even if this newest attempt is also struck down by the Supreme Court.
This saga shows the folly of broad grants of power to regulatory agencies. The bureaucracy cannot be trusted to use its powers with restraint. When the power of the regulatory state grows, the liberty of the American people diminishes. Reining in the power of the regulatory state should be a priority of all American citizens.
Overreaching Nanny State PING!
Kaliphorniastan strikes again.
For the most part, you cannot own land (property) in the United States.
They will let you rent it, however. But you have to follow the rules. And there are lots of rules.
We know where much of this comes from and the kind of political power mentality that drives it. Pray that January 2017 brings a refreshing and essential reversal of direction for the citizens of America.
Stalin also hated farmers.
This is niggardly niggling of the worst kind.
If you can plow it, it is not a waterway.
Ownership but not control, that is the key. Another American Revolution is needed. Abolish all federal agencies created by congress, freeze all federal spending. Any RINOS up to the task? Still waiting.............
Hillary’s SCOTUS will settle this.
half a million dollars in legal fees from now, he might get his land back.
Your land = Your choice (as long as you aren’t harming others)
I LOVE THIS COUNTRY - i’m ashamed of this government...
This “government” is out of control !! Time to rid the country of these useless power-mad bureaucrats - by force if necessary.
key word: “his”
‘Waters of the US’ can be found in the sky as well - yes? Gonna need a bigger EPA...
is this overreach of federal power or is this simply political retribution? They ignore democrat farmers and simply go after republican farmers
Some people need to die so others can decide how muchthey want their damn jobs.
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