EPA Overreach

EPA Overreach

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Has the EPA lost its mind? You know it is always easy to take pot shots at the EPA, who, after all, is trying to serve the greater good by protecting our environment. Sometimes, government overreach on some of their policies is putting it mildly. But listen to Pacific Legal Foundation Senior Attorney, Tony Francois as he describes what a farmer may not do. When most people think about preventing water pollution, they probably picture sewage plants and factories, spilling gunk into a river or lake right?  But according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA), overturned dirt in a farmer’s field is technically the same thing as that noxious gunk: pollution.

Yet one major side effect of considering dirt a pollutant is that doing so allows the government to regulate a farmer’s field in the same way that it would regulate chemicals being dumped in a river. This means that many farmers across the country have been forced to pay exorbitant fines and go through years of court battles simply for plowing their fields.

For example, California farmer Jack LaPant is currently being sued by the EPA for plowing his property to grow wheat on it. He faces millions in penalties for plowing the dirt on his farm. His neighbor John Duarte had to pay $1.1 million to settle similar charges for which EPA officials threatened him with over $40 million in liability. All in the name of “fighting pollution.”

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