October 26, 2013
The Common Sense Show
Mike and Chantel Sacket, from Priest Lake, Idaho, were preparing an 0.63 acre plot of land for the construction of their new home when an order by the EPA was issued to remove piles of fill material and replant the vegetation that they had removed from their property. The couple paid $23,000 for their property.
The order from the EPA was issued after the couple had gone through the process of acquiring all of the necessary permits to begin construction. Failure to comply with the EPA order would have resulted in a daily fine of up to $37,500.
The Idaho couple sued, in an attempt to prove that their land did not meet the criteria for being declared a wetland by the EPA, however, the lower court refused to hear the case. Fortunately, the Supreme Court sided with Mike and Chantel as well as several other property owners who had been the victims of EPA tyranny. The details of the case are provided here.
What seemed like a victory for property owners against the EPA may prove to be short-lived. The EPA is back and they are back with a renewed vengeance. Under the Clean Water Restoration Act, the EPA is in control of all “navigable waters.” On the surface, the term “navigable waters” would seem to provide some measure of protection to the public from invasive EPA enforcement by placing some reasonable limitations on the EPA’s regulatory power. Alas, that is proving not to be the case.