A Wyoming man has won a two-year battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over a stock pond he constructed on his property.
Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger was told by the EPA that he violated the clean water act by developing the pond, without the necessary federal permits. The pond was created from a creek.
The agency threatened to fine him over 37-thousand dollars for every day he failed to remove the pond. In a lawsuit, Johnson contested the EPA’s authority. This week he reached a settlement with the agency that allows the pond to stay. Johnson will not have to pay any fines and the government also will not pursue future enforcement, but he will have to address erosion and build a fence.
“They thought that we would just roll over and do what they wanted and we didn’t, we fought it all the way, and it ended up going in our favor.”
Johnson is glad the case brought unwanted attention to the EPA, but he doubts it will change anything.
“The EPA is gonna continue to do things that don’t make sense, they’re gonna continue this regulation that has nothing to do with clean water, has nothing to do with the environment, it has more to do with greed, and power, and control than anything…to justify their job. I don’t think that’s gonna change.”
Johnson said it’s been a stressful two years for his family and he hopes to put the issue behind him.