The Environmental Protection Agency has moved from actually protecting the environment to simply harassing hard working Americans trying to make a living.  Such is the case with California farmer John Duarte, who bought 450 acres to grow wheat.  Because there were wetlands on the land, he hired a consulting firm to evaluate the property and determine where the best areas were for farming. A couple of creeks drained into the land, and were then deemed to be “waters of the United States.”  

Duarte admits that some of the areas designated “wetlands” by the government ended up being plowed.  But that didn’t ruin or devastate the land.  In fact, it just means that they plowed between 4 to 7 inches deep.  Nonetheless, the Duarte now faces $2.8 million in fines and has to go to federal court this summer. They claimed Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not getting a permit “to discharge dredged or fill material into seasonal wetlands considered waters of the United States.”


Under President Obama, the EPA grew so corrupt and drunk on its own power that it’s now impossible for people to use their own land as they see fit.  Even when they are trying to be conscientious, like this farmer who went to the extra trouble of hiring an outside consulting firm.

We need to stop this government overreach once and for all.  Congress is now looking into this issue on behalf of the farmer. According to Redding.com:

Chairmen of the House judiciary and agriculture committees sent a letter last week to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for clarification on the department’s reasoning behind the case against John Duarte Nursery.

“The prosecution of Mr. Duarte raises concerns that the Congressional intent behind the farming exemptions in the statute is misunderstood,” the letter says.

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who represents Tehama County, said he asked for the letter to be sent because he was worried about the case setting a new precedent that would put farmers at risk of high fines.

“Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter for John Duarte and the many other farmers who face similar fines and penalties around the country,” LaMalfa said in a statement.

Good.  I hope they realize that this is ludicrous.  For the rest of us, we need to realize that the government will never voluntarily relinquish power until we force them to do so.  Thankfully, the Founders gave us that power.  We need to pass a Convention of States now to make sure what is happening to John Duarte doesn’t happen again.

Image Credit: Public Domain




About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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