Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, is accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of secretly trying to take over large amounts of private property throughout the United States.
Rep. Smith released a series of EPA maps which he claims shows the agency’s plan to expand their regulatory power over streams and wetlands – making way for a large takeover of private land in the United States
In a letter to the EPA, obtained by Fox News, Rep. Smith writes: “These maps show the EPA’s plan: to control a huge amount of private property across the country. Given the astonishing picture they paint, I understand the EPA’s desire to minimize the importance of these maps.”
The maps are part of the EPA’s plan to re-define Americans’ private property rights under the Clean Water Act. While the EPA denies the recently released maps show which waterways they’re trying to control, the fact is, the EPA has already begun seizing private property under the guise of the “Clean Water Act.”
Over the last couple of years I’ve covered a number of stories on how the EPA was abusing their regulatory powers, and using the Clean Water Act to take land from private property owners, by redefining dry land as “protected wetlands”.
By redefining the term “Waters of the United States”, the EPA is attempting to take control of all tributaries, regardless of size and flow, and all private and public lakes, ponds and streams. The proposed rules would give the EPA control of temporary waterways like seasonal streams, and even land where heavy rainfall causes runoff to flow into a body of water.
Pattern of Abusing their Regulatory Power:
For years now the EPA has been going after private land owners, using the Clean Water Act as a way to either seize property or intimidate land owners with heavy fines and civil penalties.
Earlier this year a family in Wyoming discovered just how powerful the EPA has become, after they were ordered to remove a stock pond from their property and then fined 75,000-a-day.
Andy Johnson built the small pond on his eight-acre property as stock pond for trout. He wanted a place where his family could play, and an area where his horse could drink and graze. After finishing construction on the pond, Johnson was accused of violating the Clean Water Act and ordered to return the land to its original condition.
Despite filling out all the appropriate paperwork and getting approval to build the pond from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, the EPA insisted they have the final say over what gets built on the land.
Land Owners have very few resources to fight the EPA’s land grab
In 2005 Mike and Chantell Sackett purchased a small 0.62 acre parcel of land. After obtaining all the necessary local permits the Sacketts started to clear their land so they could build a small three-bedroom family home. Without a judicial hearing or notice, the EPA told the couple to immediately stop construction and to return the land to its original condition. They were accused of violating the Clean Water Act.
The EPA claimed the Sacketts property was on protected wetlands, and then demanded payments of over a quarter of a million dollars to “request” permission from the U.S. government to build on their own land.
Armed with what they believed to be proof that the land was not federally protected “wetlands,” the Sacketts tried to challenge the EPA’s claim; to their surprise they were denied a hearing and told by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that they had no right to immediate judicial review. After years of battling the federal government, the ruling was later overturned by the Supreme court who found the Clean Water Act does not preclude judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Has the American Dream of Land Ownership become an American Nightmare?
Sadly these types of stories are not uncommon; in fact, they are happening throughout the country each and every day. I’ve covered these types of stories numerous times in the past: from a WWII vet who was forced out of his 88-year-old family owned grocery store; to the heartbreaking story of Andrew Wordes, who took his life after code enforcement teams seized his home; to the Off-Griders in California who were threatened with arrest for daring to live an off the grid lifestyle, these stories highlight how out of control the federal government has become at every level.
Our basic rights are being stripped from us right before our eyes, and the once great American Dream of owning your own little piece of land is quickly becoming an American Nightmare.
The american citizen has everything they need at hand to combat this and other wrongdoings. Its called your rifle. These acts by the govt will only stop when forced too.
Yet another scandal ignored by e mainstream media.
I think you’re right. The American dream is dead. These people are doing everything they can to. Ale sure none of us are truly free.
just another example of the far left govt making the lives of hard working people hell.
between pushing ethanol and stealing land the epa has become to big for thier own good, i hope next year with a republican house and senate our elected officals will grow a pair and sto all the bull.
shutdown, defund and fire about half the govt.
I own a farm in NJ. Anyway I can tell if my property has been “noticed” in any way by the EPA? and what, if any, their plans may be for my farm? Any information from anybody would be helpful. Thank you.
Time to defund the EPA, and throwout all the congressmen’s D/R that support and vote to keep the EPA.
Close down the unconstitutional EPA, FDA, HUD, FBI, BATF, etc., etc.
it was quite by accident that I came across this website, and I am totally dismayed about the US government’s land grab under the guise of legislation “clean Water Act” all just to protect the wealth from those damn pirates that hijack natural resources meant for ALL peoples. that these people choose to go off grid should be applauded, and not penalized. I live in Australia, and our successive gluttonments have made a career of seizing land that isn’t theirs (indigenous people’s), state land for private commercial profits blah blah, im under no illusion that our gluttonment is no different, and for all its worth, I am in solidarity with these
people who are kicked off their land who choose self sufficiency. This is ofcourse a global issue, and im grateful to you for covering it. xx
from my understanding epa attack the wrong things and they should be attacking these big industrial companies who pollute the water daily with chemicals that are harmful to life itself fish are dying,sea creatures are losing fertility. In some cases people are dying.Its us the people who should stand up and state what is harmful and critical to life itself
In Louisiana, the chemical plant was having explosions & killing people. The owners did not care & ran over it’s people. We were told that the EPA was the only people in charge and didn’t have enough money to curb their activities. Well eventually after several explosions the FBI came in & slowed their roll. I guess the EPA has found some money.. So. how can we stop this bad thing they are doing w/ the land grab.I have water/ land. how? what to do?