A Wyoming man who was fined more than $16 million by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Water Act is taking the government agency to court. Fort Bridger’s Andy Johnson received notice of the EPA penalty after building a small stock pond on his ranch, intended to create easier access to water for his horses and cattle. According to Hot Air, he was initially asked in January 2014 to return his property to its original conditions or face fines of $37,500 per day. Those fines have since accumulated to their current massive size.
Johnson claims that he filed all the necessary permits in order to comply with EPA regulations before constructing the pond. “We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I’m proud of what we built,” Johnson said, according to Fox News. “The EPA ignored all that.”
Johnson is framing his lawsuit against the EPA as a political battle as much as it is personal. “The EPA is out to expand its power, and I’m a test case,” he said. “We’re going to fight them all the way.” Johnson claims that his pond, which feeds into Wyoming’s Green River, has actually been tested as cleaner than when it came in. His lawsuit against the EPA has been filed in a U.S. District Court.