It Depends On What Your Definition of the Word “Navigable” Is



“Politics ends at the waters edge!”

Many years ago, I saw a fairly large graffito scrawled on a wall somewhere in Manhattan stating “U.S., OUT OF MY PANTS!” and for whatever reason, it just stuck with me. I guess I must have just appreciated the author’s mashing up the evils of Yanqui imperialism with misogyny and puritanical values. Well played, Krylon-boy. Thing of it is, ever since Justice William O. Douglas found Madison’s secret decoder ring to reveal the Bill of Rights’ well-hidden “right to privacy” clause, the penumbras and emanations that have so effectively kept the government out of our collective pants (and by extension bedrooms and wombs) curiously don’t apply to one’s private property.

In its insatiable lust for power, and as the prime weapon the left uses to crush individual initiative and our Constitution, the EPA is once again going after a private citizen on his private property. This time it’s a Wyoming farmer for, get this, constructing a stock pond that was built to the EPA’s own exact specifications. I guess freedom isn’t free. Or freedom.

Farmer Andy Johnson hasn’t sent millions of gallons of gold-mine wastewater down any rivers, but he’s facing more than $16 million in fines from the Environmental Protection Agency for running afoul the Clean Water Act. His violation? In 2012, Mr. Johnson built a stock pond for his horses and cattle on his 8-acre property in Fort Bridger, Wyoming.

But Johnson is fighting back. His counsel, Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation said:

“This is the same agency that just created a toxic mess in Colorado’s Animas River, with no accountability for the blundering bureaucracy,” said Mr. Wood. “But here they are, threatening Andy Johnson with astronomical fines, for building an environmentally beneficial stock pond that actually purifies the water that runs through it.”

The legal action is not just spur of the moment litigiousness. Johnson has been trying to work out a good faith settlement with the EPA for months, but to no avail. Like healthcare, housing and the banking system, if the government controls it, it means they control you.

Senator David Vitter, LA-R, in an op-ed from “The Hill” almost one year ago:

And if all of this weren’t enough, then there is the granddaddy of EPA abuse of the Clean Water Act — its proposed and looming “Waters of the United States” rule.  Even though the Clean Water Act was passed into law by Congress in 1972 and Congress has not passed any recent revision of it, the Obama Administration has decided it’s time for a drastic rewrite.  So on its own, with no provocation or input from Congress, it is proposing new rules that would dramatically expand the reach or jurisdiction of the law.

Up until now, the Clean Water Act has applied to navigable water bodies.  But under this drastic administrative rewrite, it would govern virtually any activity impacting an area where water flows.  That means federal government permits would be required for all sorts of routine activities.

This has profound implications for all Americans, not just large mining and other businesses.  It means that installing a playground in a backyard or extending a driveway may well require expensive, cumbersome federal government permitting.  And that means super-expensive and protracted litigation could be involved too.

(Sarcasm alert) So if the left can get the U.S. out of their pants, surely they can find common cause to keep it out of our backyards, developments, our toilets, sinks, showers, lightbulbs and automobiles and virtually every other thing that we consume, wear or otherwise purchase?  No?


“Top. Men. Top, anyway.”

It cannot be stated loudly or frequently enough: the EPA’s mission is not to protect the environment. It is to use whatever laws or authority it has – legally or otherwise – to squelch any and all industrial/private activity in order to wrest control of it for its purposes. Perhaps more than any other agency, the EPA is populated almost exclusively by strident leftists and acolytes of the De-Growth Movement, hell bent on deceiving the low information crowd and too many gullible citizens into “saving the planet” as the excuse to dismantle the free market and our society.

The sooner the EPA is de-fanged if not completely abolished, the better for our nation and our liberty.



7 comments to “It Depends On What Your Definition of the Word “Navigable” Is”
  1. Why doesn’t the EPA double-down and start regulating in-ground pools in Greenwich and Los Altos and Bedford and…..?

  2. On the long list of Useless Government Agencies, the EPA ranks very near the top. Another example of a department established for a beneficial purpose twisted into ugliness by liberal do-gooders.

    Though it’s pointless — and ultimately depressing — to hope, I can wish the next President immediately shuts down every administrative body in D.C., pending a full and unbiased cost/benefit analysis.

    The result of said analysis would be transforming Washington and environs into a massive ghost town full of unemployable loungers, but since liberals believe in breaking eggs to make omelets, why the hell not?

  3. Those few government agencies that rise to the high standard of being truly useless take offense at being compared to the EPA.

  4. “but since liberals believe in breaking eggs to make omelets, why the hell not?”

    So it’s been about 100 years. Where’s the friggin’ omelette already!

  5. Yeah. I think the reason the rancher got a literal small army of support was that it was one time there was a place where federal overreach could be physically opposed.

    It became the outlet for all the pent up anger that so many feel ( I know it wasn’t the EPA in that case) toward all the many ways the mandarins take four times their due from us.

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