"The EPA's compliance order is heavy-handed bureaucracy and marks a broad assertion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, offering an ominous signal of EPA's intentions for its current ‘waters of the United States' rulemaking," wrote the Senators. "EPA appears more interested in intimidating and bankrupting Mr. Johnson than it does in working cooperatively with him."
In the letter, the Senators request that EPA's Region 8 withdraw its administrative compliance order for a landowner who EPA claims violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by building a dam on a creek without a permit. However, the private landowner maintains that he constructed a stock pond on his property, which is generally exempt from CWA permitting requirements. The EPA has threatened the landowner with $75,000 in penalties per day.