The 'Wetlands' Scam... EPA's Newest Land Grabbing Scheme

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 9:15pm.



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the unfettered right to declare any piece of land ANYWHERE (under the Clean Water Act) as a 'wetlands'. At the Obama Environmental Protection Agency's discretion, they can take over your private property, or tell you that you can't build your dream home on the land you bought simply by designating it a 'wetland'. ~ Ron Arnold - Video

And so far, you cannot do anything about it without spending far more than you paid for the property you are about to build on. If you choose to fight the federal bureaucracy for their takeover of your land, you --- or any landowner - can be assessed prohibitive penalties to fight the abrogation of your right use your own land.

The most frightening thing about the EPA's over-reach is that they have found a way to exercise eminent domain in a way they never have to buy they land they "seize." In a real twist, in fact, the owners still has to keep up the taxes on the land --- even though they can never use it!

It's just one more "government over-reach" by the Obama Administration.

A hard-working Idaho couple found this out the hard way. Mike and Chantell Sackett own a half-acre lot in a RESIDENTIAL area near Priest Lake in northern Idaho. All they wanted to do was to build a home. Not an ostentatious home. Just their dream home. The lot exists within a built-out area near the Lake. The lot itself has an existing sewer hookup, and is zoned for RESIDENTIAL construction.

Prior to their purchase of the land, the Sacketts completed the normal round of due diligence inspections. None of their research indicated any Clean Water Act permitting history or other EPA requirements to use the property.

Yet, after the excavation work was begun the EPA "swooped in" with a special "compliance order" that required them to undo the excavation work and restore the "wetlands" to their "pristine" condition.

Worse yet, they were told by the federal government they had to "leave it" for three years before they could seek a "permit" which might cost an additional HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! In other words, they could not build or even put up a pup tent --- it had to be "untouched" as a designated "wetland."

Government over-reach in land usage has TENS OF THOUSANDS of Americans "succumbing" to the wishes of the federal government, WITHOUT any affordable recourse! In recent years, the EPA has issued as many as 3,000 compliance orders PER YEAR!

What happened to this Idaho couple can, and increasingly will, happen to other working class people who buy land. This court case serves as a serious WARNING to you, as a land owner, that the EPA can, whenever they want, reach down from their lofty perch and take over control of your land... no matter where you are at. Mind you, you will still own it You will still pay taxes on it. You just won't be able to build on it, or otherwise use it.

The Sackett's life was put on "HOLD" for at least three whole years... without "due process." Chantell Sackett disappointingly says: "They (the EPA) have stopped our life. I just think they're bullying us. I think they do whatever they want."

Here's the kicker: The Sackett's land has no standing water or any continuously flowing water. It cannot, even in the mystical minds of the EPA, be construed as a "wetland." Yet, the Sacketts were not granted "due process" to CHALLENGE the EPA's "wetlands" assertion in court. A court, by the way, established by the United States Constitution to protect the rights of the American people.

Financially, the Sacketts are being assessed a horrific price for the right to challenge the fed's power play. Their constitutional rights are being outrightly VIOLATED.

The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution says: "No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

While the EPA will argue the Sacketts' land has not been taken, and that it still belongs to them, the fact remains the Sacketts have been deprived of the use of that land.

The Sacketts explain their "catch 22" dilemma in their own words in this video. What is most frightening is that the people in the video, below, could just as easily be you...



Help us to demand that the Sacketts have their day in court... now ...without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and fees to be able to build their dream home before they are too old ... or broke ... to enjoy it.

The most overturned court in the United States, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said before the court could issue a ruling on the EPA's order; the family would have to go through a years - long, $200,000 - plus process of formally applying for a federal wetlands permit.

The EPA's compliance order regime puts the Sacketts, and innocent landowners like them throughout the country, in an impossible situation.

Just to get their "day in court," they must either run the risk of ruinous penalties and imprisonment, or "purchase" their right of judicial review through the permit process, even if the permit price is more than the value of the land.

The Sacketts were provided no evidentiary hearing or no opportunity to contest the order before it was arbitrarily put into place.

A Writ of Certiorari has been submitted to the court by Pacific Legal Foundation, an organization working on behalf of the Sackett family.

According to page 10 of the petition, "Ignoring the compliance order is not an option for several reasons. First, the CWA (Clean Water Act) imposes significant civil penalties for violating compliance orders ($25,000 per day per violation.

Just one month of noncompliance puts the landowner at risk of civil liability of $750,000. A year's worth of noncompliance puts the liability at $9,000,000..."

Damien Schiff, lead attorney in the case, states...

"The reality of the Sackett's situation is that they have been unambiguously commanded by their government not to complete their home - building project, to take expensive measures to undo the improvements that they have made to their land, and to maintain their land essentially as a public park until the property is 'restored' to the satisfaction of the EPA. They have been threatened with frightening penalties if they do not immediately obey; but they have been refused the prompt hearing they should have received as a matter of right in any court."

My Friend, this could very easily happen to you.

At issue in this, what should be a "plain and simple" case, is the over-reach of the federal government via the Obama EPA. This one case should be a "wake-up call" to all property owners, and everyone who values fair play and due process.

Let me ask you the bottom-line question: When bureaucrats try to impose their will on private property, shouldn't the owners be permitted their day in court to challenge the government's claim of control?"


I look forward to your response to help "set the record and law straight" by calling for a Congressional investigation into the federal over-reach by the EPA!


Ron Arnold
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise Action Fund

P.S. Thank you for your attention as we help Americans understand their rights on their own private property. Your financial support to the CDFE Action Fund is crucial now, as we seek to make sure that the U.S. Congress does not leave these good people "out in the EPA cold."

PLEASE CLICK HERE FAX every Member of Congress to DEMAND a Congressional Investigation of the EPA and their "out-of-the-ordinary" land permit charges they are assessing to tax-paying American citizens. The Obama EPA and the Obama Administration itself is out of control!

Today it is the Sacketts who are being "sacked" by the EPA. Tomorrow, it could be you, or a friend or family member.

Once again the leftwing environmentalists are fighting hard to push the American people back into the urban centers of America. Help us protect the rights of Americans to live where they want to live.

Your GIFT to the CDFE Action Fund will help us align support in Congress to end discriminatory, punitive environment regulations and return America's rural areas back to the American people.

Or SEND your donation to:
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise Action Fund
Dept Code - 5725
12500 NE 10th Place
Bellevue, WA 98005


Ron Arnold - Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise Action Fund


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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 9:15pm.