This issue first came to light well over a year ago. It’s insane that the EPA thinks it has the right to fine this man, while they give themselves a pass for dumping millions of gallons of waste -including arsenic and lead- in Colorado.

Let’s make no bones about it: The Environmental Protection Agency is an unconstitutional agency in the federal government, run by unelected people, whose underlying foundation is communism through environmental regulations, and those regulations are as unconstitutional as the agency itself. Now, the EPA is fining a Wyoming rancher for building a pond on his own property. The cost? $37,000 per day! That’s $16 million!

In 2012, the EPA ordered Andy Johnson to remove a small pond he built on his property. According to the agency, Johnson was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

However, Johnson claims that he followed the law.

Johnson told Watchdog.org, “We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I’m proud of what we built. The EPA ignored all that.”

The EPA then gave him 30 days to restore the property to the pre-pond condition, which Johnson said was “physically impossible.”

Watchdog.org reports:

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court on Thursday, lawyers representing Johnson argue the EPA overstepped its authority by fining the rancher.

“Threatening me with ruinous fines even though I’ve done nothing wrong is extortionate,” he said in a statement provided by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm representing Johnson. “This is a battle about more than my land, my livestock and my pond. The EPA is on a mission to expand its power.  They want to take over jurisdiction over private property throughout the United States.”

In a statement provided by an EPA spokesman, the agency said it and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been working with Johnson for “many months” to resolve the issue. The agency says the fines issued to Johnson were not final and were simply examples of the maximum penalties that could be issued.

“EPA has not made any determinations regarding penalties in this matter nor made any penalty demand of Mr. Johnson,” said Julia Valentine, spokeswoman for the EPA. “An order the agency sent to Mr. Johnson in January 2014 cites the maximum penalties for noncompliance established by Congress in the Clean Water Act.  References to these penalty provisions are included in all EPA enforcement orders to ensure that respondents are fully aware of the relevant provisions of environmental laws.”

However, the biggest problem the tyrants at the EPA face is that they have yet to explain how Johnson is in violation of the Clean Water Act. They did, however, provide a statement to AgFax.com, an agricultural journal.

The issue is whether Mr. Johnson qualified for the stock pond exemption. To qualify for this exemption, the pond must actually be used in farming or ranching operations, and it is only exempt to the size the farmer requires it to meet operational needs,” the EPA statement said, according to AgFax. “Ponds created for aesthetic or other non-farming-related purposes do not qualify for the exemption.”

Johnathan Wood, a staff attorney at PLF, told Watchdog.org, “Under the plain terms of the Clean Water Act, he was entirely within his rights and didn’t need federal bureaucrats’ permission.”

Both Wood and Johnson claim the pond actually improved the environment. They claim the pond created a wetland, where there had only existed a small creek, that it provided a habitat for Johnson’s animals and other wildlife in the area, including eagles and moose, and that the water in the pond is actually cleaner than the water flowing into it.

So, why the clamp down on this rancher? Seems to me, that he was looking to the future of this stock pond to be a means of providing food and water for his family. The feds just can’t have that as they do not believe in freedom and self-reliance, but on government tyranny and dependence.

America, we may have another Cliven Bundy situation on our hands in the near future at the Johnson ranch.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/09/obamas-epa-fines-rancher-16-million-for-what-he-did-on-his-own-property/#1MCdgSUyQQEoA5uZ.99

Maybe this can get tangled up in courts for a few years and not be implemented at all.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Water Rule

A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect.

Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.

The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways like streams and wetlands.

But the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned, arguing that the Thursday decision only applies to the 13 states that requested the injunction.

“Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act,” Erickson wrote in his order.

“While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65 percent. Immediately upon the rule taking effect, the rule will irreparably diminish the states’ power over their waters,” he continued, calling the Obama administration’s interpretation of its jurisdiction “exceptionally expansive.”

The states and the federal government argued over how to judge the likelihood opponents of the rule would win their case. But Erickson decided that the regulation is not “likely” to stand up to full court consideration.

In a statement shortly after the ruling, the EPA was defiant and said that the injunction only applies in the thirteen states that filed for it: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said in the statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”

The EPA’s interpretation appears to conflict with responses from most stakeholders, lawmakers and others.

The water rule quickly became one of the most controversial regulations from Obama’s EPA, opposed by most states and many business, agriculture and development interests, among others.

They argue that the regulation greatly expands the federal government’s authority over water and land.

The Obama administration says the rule is necessary to protect small waterways from pollution or harm, as called for under the Clean Water Act.

As a preliminary injunction, Erickson’s ruling is designed only to last as long as the litigation persists, and can be overturned.

The 13 states, led by North Dakota, are participating in just one of 10 lawsuits against the water rule. In total, 29 states, along with business interests representing energy, developers, farmers and others are suing.

The cases have been consolidated into one lawsuit at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, but Erickson argued that he could still issue his injunction. Multiple litigants had requested injunctions in their lawsuits, and most had been dismissed and deferred to the Sixth Circuit.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in West Virginia declined to block the rule. Shortly after Erickson’s decision in North Dakota, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia also declined a plea from 11 states to block the rule, saying she lacked jurisdiction.

Congressional Republicans and their allies applauded the injunction.

“The judge’s decision to block the rule — which was challenged by 13 states — is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month,” said Julia Slingsby, spokeswoman for House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). “The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.”

“A federal court threw a giant wrench into the EPA and Army Corps’ plan to radically expand their power,” said Dan Danner, head of the National Federation for Independent Businesses, which filed one of the lawsuits.

“The agencies ignored the impact of their actions on small business and ignored prior Supreme Court decisions.”

The League of Conservation Voters sharply criticized the decision.

“This is a terrible decision for the 1 in 3 Americans who have already been waiting too long for these vital protections for their drinking water,” said Madeleine Foote, the group’s legislative representative.

“The District Court for North Dakota’s decision puts the interests of big polluters over people in need of clean water,” she said.

This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.

 

Read the judge’s ruling below:

Federal judge blocks Obama’s water rule

A federal judge in North Dakota acted late Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect.

Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn’t act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided.

The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways like streams and wetlands.

But the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned, arguing that the Thursday decision only applies to the 13 states that requested the injunction.

“Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act,” Erickson wrote in his order.

“While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65 percent. Immediately upon the rule taking effect, the rule will irreparably diminish the states’ power over their waters,” he continued, calling the Obama administration’s interpretation of its jurisdiction “exceptionally expansive.”

The states and the federal government argued over how to judge the likelihood opponents of the rule would win their case. But Erickson decided that the regulation is not “likely” to stand up to full court consideration.

In a statement shortly after the ruling, the EPA was defiant and said that the injunction only applies in the thirteen states that filed for it: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said in the statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”

The EPA’s interpretation appears to conflict with responses from most stakeholders, lawmakers and others.

The water rule quickly became one of the most controversial regulations from Obama’s EPA, opposed by most states and many business, agriculture and development interests, among others.

They argue that the regulation greatly expands the federal government’s authority over water and land.

The Obama administration says the rule is necessary to protect small waterways from pollution or harm, as called for under the Clean Water Act.

As a preliminary injunction, Erickson’s ruling is designed only to last as long as the litigation persists, and can be overturned.

The 13 states, led by North Dakota, are participating in just one of 10 lawsuits against the water rule. In total, 29 states, along with business interests representing energy, developers, farmers and others are suing.

The cases have been consolidated into one lawsuit at the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, but Erickson argued that he could still issue his injunction. Multiple litigants had requested injunctions in their lawsuits, and most had been dismissed and deferred to the Sixth Circuit.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in West Virginia declined to block the rule. Shortly after Erickson’s decision in North Dakota, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia also declined a plea from 11 states to block the rule, saying she lacked jurisdiction.

Congressional Republicans and their allies applauded the injunction.

“The judge’s decision to block the rule — which was challenged by 13 states — is encouraging, especially as EPA’s credibility has been questioned in the past month,” said Julia Slingsby, spokeswoman for House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah). “The EPA needs to be stopped before it does more harm to our nation’s precious water resources.”

“A federal court threw a giant wrench into the EPA and Army Corps’ plan to radically expand their power,” said Dan Danner, head of the National Federation for Independent Businesses, which filed one of the lawsuits.

“The agencies ignored the impact of their actions on small business and ignored prior Supreme Court decisions.”

The League of Conservation Voters sharply criticized the decision.

“This is a terrible decision for the 1 in 3 Americans who have already been waiting too long for these vital protections for their drinking water,” said Madeleine Foote, the group’s legislative representative.

“The District Court for North Dakota’s decision puts the interests of big polluters over people in need of clean water,” she said.

This story was updated at 7:23 p.m.

 

Read the judge’s ruling below:

Federal judge blocks Obama’s water rule

Image  —  Posted: August 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Mountain Grove PRC will be meeting next Thursday, August 27th at the Sunnyside Cafe in Mountain Grove. The meeting will begin at 6pm and go until the restaurant closes at 8pm.

Doreen Hannes will be heading the meeting and topics of conversation will center around the myriad of occurrences scheduled to happen in September of this year and what it may mean to us here in the Ozarks. Hannes says, “One of the things happening in September of this year has to do with a major expansion of the UN Agenda 21 program, most are completely unaware of this expansion, and there are many other important things slated for our not too distant future.”

Hannes says, “This meeting is likely to be a bit more esoteric than our meetings generally have been, but the time that we are in calls for a more holistic approach to how we manage our properties and deal with, and within, our community. There are a great number of things occurring that we really can’t do anything about, but being aware of them will allow us to prepare more appropriately overall.”

The meeting is open to the public and the PRC asks that those who attend come early and enjoy the buffet at Sunnyside to support the restaurant graciously making the meeting room available.

 

 

Here are a couple of links from Mary Byrne on the positions of these candidates on Common Core.

You are invited to meet with the Howell County Campaign for Liberty Group Thursday, August 20. At 7:00p Mike Cunningham, our state Senator, will give us a recap of this years legislative session. There’ll be time for questions and answers.  We meet at Chen’s Garden, 1705 Gibson, in West Plains.  Come at 6:00p to eat and visit.

This month’s agenda:

  • 7:00 – report on items of interest around the state
    • 7:30 – Mike Cunningham to speak

Mike Cunningham, our State Senator, will report on this years Missouri legislative session. It’s our opportunity to get his take on how things went and asked him why he voted the way he did on certain measures. We can also discuss legislature we would like to see passed the next session. And we can ask about his plans for the future.

We will have reports to bring us up to date in the following areas:

–         New ONSR plan

–         COS update

–         Candidates for next election (sheriff, county commissioners, etc.)

–         Missouri legislative session information

–         Mike Slack –  Report on Tax protest & Miscellaneous

–         Other –

I have, through his Jefferson City office, confirmed that Shawn Rhodes will speak to us at our September meeting. Josh Cotter is scheduled to speak to us November 19.  I’ll try getting the new editor of the Quill for our October meeting.

I have copies of the General Assembly Roster 2015 which has contact information for our state and federal elected officials. Copies will be available at this meeting.  I also have copies of the 2014 Missouri Roster.  It has contact info for county officials around the state.  Copies of the US and MO constitutions and  Howell County Campaign for Liberty Group business cards will be available as well.  Copies of the 5000 year leap and Agenda 21 material will also be available as will “The Victory for State Sovereignty”, Mack/Prinz vs. USA by Sheriff Richard Mack.

The 2015-2016 Missouri Roster is finally available. It is on order.

The post below is from Mary Byrne, who has been tirelessly heading up the fight against Common Core in Missouri.

Here it is:

TO: Members of the Springfield Public School Board

RE: Student Data Privacy
I read the August 6 Springfield News-Leader article, One Year In, Springfield Superintendent Talks About Embracing Change (http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/education/2015/08/06/one-year-springfield-superintendent-talks-embracing-change/31239699/), which described Superintendent Jungman ‘s Ignite technology initiative as “. . . a plan to equip every teacher with a hybrid tablet this school year and provide every student, grades 3-12, with a tablet or laptop within three years.” I would like to share with the Springfield Public School board excerpts of concerns I expressed to the Missouri State Board of Education regarding the lack of safeguards on student data, in the context of a statement made by the largest publisher of education materials in the world, PEARSON PLC. These comments are directly related to the agenda to have all students’ instruction and assessment provided in an online venue.
In PEARSON’s December 31, 2014 filing with the U.S. Security Exchange Commission, PEARSON identified data breach of students’ personally identifiable information as a potential risk:
          Across our businesses we hold large volumes of personal data including that of employees, customers, students and citizens. Despite our implementation of security measures, individuals may try to gain unauthorized access to our data in order to misappropriate such information for potentially fraudulent purposes. Any perceived or actual unauthorized disclosure of personally-identifiable information, whether through breach of our network by an unauthorized party, employee theft, misuse or error or otherwise, could harm our reputation, impair our ability to attract and retain our customers, or subject us to claims or litigation arising from damages suffered by individuals, and thereby harm our business and operating results. Failure to adequately protect personal data could lead to penalties, significant remediation costs, reputational damage, potential cancellation of some existing contracts and inability to compete for future business. In addition, we could incur significant costs in complying with the relevant laws and regulations regarding the unauthorized disclosure of personal information. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/Annual-Report/2014/12/31/t.aspx?t=:PSO&ft=20-F&d=017b0dc6fc76e1084a2fa986b1bfa54a
As increasing amounts of personally identifiable information are collected by corporations such as PEARSON that are unaccountable to the public other than contractually, unsuspecting “students and citizens” are increasingly vulnerable to “potentially fraudulent purposes” such as identity theft by hackers from within, as well as, outside of the corporate system. Of particular note is PEARSON’s concern that, “. . . we could incur significant costs in complying with the relevant laws and regulations regarding the unauthorized disclosure of personal information.”
Revelation of facts about the recent massive data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management suggests the looming potential for a similar scenario in settings affected by contracts of Missouri’s State Board of Education with PEARSON. Note the following:
OPM government data breach directly and indirectly impacted 21.5 million people.
That is, an estimated 7% of Americans were impacted.
The attackers were able to compromise the agency using a contractor’s credentials.
By contracting with . . . [online education providers, board members] are compelling . . . [students] to surrender their personally identifiable information to an entity that, by its own statement, prioritizes concerns about significant remediation costs, reputational damage, and future business over student safety.
In 2014 and 2015, Missouri parents and child advocates experienced first-hand the resistance of corporations to the passage of strong student data protection legislation in. Though the proposed senate and house bills were limited in scope, pertaining only to students in Pre-K-12 settings, the same concerns of corporations for limiting liabilities associated with compliance with relevant data protection laws and regulations applies to all education settings. . . .
Given the passage of the Missouri Electronic Data Protection Amendment 9 by 75% of the 729,752 Missourians who voted in the August 2014 election (http://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Electronic_Data_Protection,_Amendment_9_(August_2014), it is fair to assume that Missourians are more concerned about their electronic privacy than corporations’ business plans and profit goals. As members of . . . [Springfield’s] Board of Education, it is incumbent on you to protect the public affected by your decisions as you carry out your duties. Data protection of . . . [Springfield’s students] can only be accomplished if data are retained at a local level where it can be better protected and isolated, thereby, reducing opportunity for breaches. At the very least, contracts with any [education] vendor should stipulate those conditions.