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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ending EPA’s land grab, Supreme Court delivers lesson in humility to arrogant agency

Federal agencies possess draconian powers to bully, intimidate, harass and financially rape citizens who haven't even been convicted of any crimes. These 'agencies gone wild' function precisely how congress legislated them to function - by conferring upon them vast,absolute, absurd and unaccountable powers. Well, the EPA got knocked down a bit by Mike and Chantell Sackett, an Idaho couple who just wanted to build a 3 bedroom house. In 2007, the EPA said NO, they couldn't build their home because their .6 of an acre lot was a wetland; there was no water on the lot. The Sacketts challenged the EPA - all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the right of the Sackett's to file a lawsuit and have their day in court.
Federal agencies are out of control. The grant of virtually unlimited power with no accountability has gone to the heads of some unelected bureaucrats, and nowhere is that more true than at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even the Supreme Court has had enough. All nine justices agreed Wednesday that the agency has finally gone too far. EPA has long been the darling of big government’s fans. They imagine bad, corporate fat cats are itching to dump toxic waste into pristine rivers and other navigable waterways, only to be thwarted by the noble public servants enforcing the Clean Water Act. The reality couldn’t be more different. In 2007, Mike and Chantell Sackett decided to build a three-bedroom dream home with a view of Idaho’s Priest Lake. They purchased a plot of land near other homes and took care to meet each requirement for securing a building permit. “We did everything right,” Mr. Sackett explained at a forum last year with Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican. Their dream turned into a nightmare when a trio of EPA officials showed up out of the blue to insist that their 2/3 acre parcel of land, which has no standing water, was somehow a wetland. It’s not on the EPA’s own list of wetlands, and experts hired by the Sacketts confirmed it doesn’t meet the definition. EPA didn’t care. The bureaucracy demanded they tear down the foundation that had already been laid for the house and restore the land to its natural state, or face a daily penalty of $75,000. “Bullying – that’s what the EPA does,” said Mrs. Sackett.
Read the rest here
The Washington Times 

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