Wyoming Farmer Faces $16 Million in Federal Fines

A Fort Bridger farmer faces 16 million in fines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of a pond he constructed on his property. According to farmer Andy Johnson, he went through all the proper state procedures for permits to build a stock pond in 2012. The pond is said to provide water sources for both livestock and wildlife. Johnson’s current lawsuit adds that the pond is exempt from EPA jurisdiction.

However, the EPA claims that the pond violated the Clean Water Act. Johnson was ordered to restore the pond to its original condition otherwise he would be fined $37,500 a day. Within three years, the fine added up to more than $16 million.

Professionals cited in the formal complaint countering the EPA state that the pond essentially improved the environment, not damaged it. Recently Johnson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to eliminate all the fines.

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