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Farmer Plowed His Own Field. The Government Fined Him $2.8 Million.

Farmer Plowed His Own Field. The Government Fined Him $2.8 Million.

Image source: Pixabay.com

The Clean Water Act has claimed yet another victim.

A Red Bluff, Calif, wheat farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine after he bought 450 acres of land and began plowing it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the farmer – John Duarte – violated the Clean Water Act by not getting a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into adjacent wetlands.

Duarte said he was following the law. His attorney, Anthony Francois of the Pacific Legal Foundation, agrees.

“The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] permit to plow to grow crops,” Francois told the Record Searchlight newspaper. “We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations.”

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Even before he plowed, Duarte hired a consulting firm to help him determine which parts of the land he could and could not plow. Water from the field drains into the Coyote and Oat creeks, which then flows into the Sacramento River.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sided with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a 2016 ruling. The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled for August, the newspaper reported. The government is asking for $2.8 million.

Francois contends that farmers are exempt from the Clean Water Act rules when they plow. The government disagrees.

“Even under the farming exemption, a discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to the farming activities that impairs the flow of the waters of the United States still requires a permit, because it changes the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters,” the U.S. attorney wrote in court documents.

The government wants Duarte to repair the wetlands and replant certain plants.

“A plain reading of the rules says you don’t need a permit to do what he did,” Francois told the Record Spotlight. “How do you impose a multimillion penalty on someone for thinking the law says what it says.”

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8 comments

  1. Seriously, the feds that brought these bogus charges (doubtless, Obama lackeys) need to be held criminally liable under RICO, and their personal assets attached to pay for this poor sods legal bills and suffering. 2.8 mil ought to do it…

    • I agree Bill…. so rediculous!!!!

    • Exactly – Obama lackeys. There have even been articles on OffTheGridNews about how even a normally dry puddle in your yard is claimed to be under the Corps jurisdiction.

      Let’s hope President Trump keeps his word and reins in the over the top rules and regulations.

  2. They should be renamed the U.S. Army Corps of Idiots.

    As bad as the EPA. (Economic Prevention Agency)

  3. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. PERIOD! At the rate we’re going, with all the Trumpanzees coming up for air, pretty soon we won’t have ANY environmental protection laws, and we’ll have the same environmental conditions as China; the same WE did in the 70’s!

    • THE IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS ON THE JUDGES PART THERE CRACKER JACK…NOT THE FARMER. AND IF WE GO BACK TO CARTERS TIME, WON’T WE ACTUALLY GO BACK TO CLIMATE COOLING AND GLOBAL WINTER WARNINGS….. SO 180 DEGREES FROM WHERE YOU IDIOTS SAY WE ARE HEADING NOW…GLOBAL WARMING. YOU ARE SO BAT SHIT CRAZY YOU DON’T KNOW IF ITS WARMING OR COOLING…SO YOU SAY ITS CHANGING. DUH!!!!! ITS ALWAYS BEEN CHANGING….SEE ANY ENORMOUS ICE BERGS IN MICHIGAN ANY MORE?….FUKTARDS!!!!

  4. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! I was going to say government OVERREACH or OVERBITE… The hard working farmer goes before sun up to after sundown. Stand down government!

    • THE IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS ON THE JUDGES PART THERE CRACKER JACK…NOT THE FARMER. AND IF WE GO BACK TO CARTERS TIME, WON’T WE ACTUALLY GO BACK TO CLIMATE COOLING AND GLOBAL WINTER WARNINGS….. SO 180 DEGREES FROM WHERE YOU IDIOTS SAY WE ARE HEADING NOW…GLOBAL WARMING. YOU ARE SO BAT SHIT CRAZY YOU DON’T KNOW IF ITS WARMING OR COOLING…SO YOU SAY ITS CHANGING. DUH!!!!! ITS ALWAYS BEEN CHANGING….SEE ANY ENORMOUS ICE BERGS IN MICHIGAN ANY MORE?….FUKTARDS!!!!

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