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.”