December 31, 2011

If this don't make your blood boil, you are a worm...

PJ Media » Support the Sacketts: EPA Suit Goes to Supreme Court:

Michael and Chantell Sackett were building their dream home on less than two-thirds of an acre of land near Priest Lake in northern Idaho. They owned a small business nearby and had been looking forward to the day when they could stop renting — they purchased the property in 2005 for $23,000. In 2007, gravel was being laid in preparation for the pouring of a concrete foundation.

However, construction screeched to a halt upon the order of three agents of the Environmental Protection Agency. The property was a federally protected "wetlands," the Sacketts were told, and they were served with a compliance order to immediately restore the property to its prior condition.

In fact, the EPA compliance order went even further. Relying on authority it claimed to have received under the Clean Water Act, EPA officials prescribed a set of conditions that went beyond the prior condition of the property when the Sacketts purchased it.

The Sacketts were ordered to plant "native scrub-shrub, broad-leaved deciduous wetlands plants and [have the property] seeded with native herbaceous plants." Further, they were ordered to fence the property and monitor plant growth for three years.

All of this came as quite a shock to the Sacketts because their sliver of land was located in a platted residential subdivision with water and sewer hook-ups, and was bordered by roads on the front and rear and existing homes on either side.

There wasn’t any natural running or standing water on the property. None of the surrounding homes in the community were designated as having occupied wetlands.

The Sacketts conducted regulatory due diligence before they bought the property. Even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been consulted. After buying the property, they applied for and received all of the pertinent local permits to build a residential dwelling as local zoning ordinances permit.

The EPA compliance order ended all of their hard work and saddled them with exorbitant financial costs. They faced monstrous-level fines — currently set at $37,500 for each day they failed to comply with the order.

Today, the Sacketts owe more than $40 million in fines....

Tyrants love to pick victims at random and destroy them publicly. That keeps every else guessing and groveling.

Posted by John Weidner at December 31, 2011 1:12 PM

If the USSC follows its usual course, it will reject the appeal.
The EPA is not a 4th branch of government, it is the creation of the US Congress and is subject to the oversight of the US Congress. The proper thing to do would be to seek legislative relief, and the USSC has a history of staying out of what should be political decisions whenever possible.
The "ultra-conservative", "Tea Party" conservatives in the House can't even lift the Edison light bulb ban.

Posted by: Lewis at January 1, 2012 2:57 PM
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