Sunday, May 28, 2017

Swamp-draining: More on Waters of the United States rule

The case of a farmer being sued by the Army Corps of Engineers for plowing his own land is a travesty of legislative intent.  But a fix may be in the works.

By Dale Leuck May 27, 2017

On May 25, Rick Moran detailed the plight of California-located Duarte Nursery, being sued by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) for plowing a small portion of a recently purchased 450-acre farm for the purpose of planting wheat.  Mr. Duarte purchased the land in recognition that significant portions were to remain fallow because they were wetlands protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

But, after planting wheat for harvest in 2013 on a portion determined by a paid consultant not to be such protected wetlands, Mr. Duarte was sued by the Corps for "not obtaining a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into seasonal wetlands considered waters of the United States," according to USA Today.  The dredged or fill material would be particles of soil and/or chemicals loosened by plowing.  The amount of the fine sought against Mr. Duarte is some $2.8 million, with his attorney's fees, time wasted, and potential mitigation activities all significant added expense.....................More

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