PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--Jonathon Wood, a Staff Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, praised an executive order issued by Donald Trump rolling back EPA regulations, including clean water and climate rules. Wood's organization previously represented a rancher who was fined over $16 million for constructing a pond on his property in Wyoming.
Wood, during an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, expressed his gratitude that Trump cited the case while announcing the new order.
"It's obviously very flattering. The Andy Johnson case, we were very happy to be able to come to his defense and secure a good result. But it really emphasizes what's so wrong with the way federal bureaucrats implement the Clean Water Act today...Andy Johnson was a small property owner who created a stock pond on his private property. The pond wasn't just an improvement of his property, it actually benefitted the environment by creating wetlands and habitat for fish and wildlife and cleaning the water that went through it."
He said that no one should find themselves in a similar circumstance to Johnson, who eventually had the fines levied against him dismissed in court.
"The executive order strongly shows that this administration is committed to reigning in some of this abuse. Not only did they cite the example of what Andy Johnson's family had to go through, can you imagine spending a year and a half of your life with this threat of massive fines hanging over your head every night? It's a nightmare that few can imagine."
Wood believes the order correctly limits federal agencies from policing naturally occurring waterways, not a man made pond, like in Johnson's case.
"The best thing about the executive order is that it expressly says...the binding interpretation for the federal agencies is the late Justice Scalia's interpretation which, very reasonably, says the powers limited to naval waters and those other streams and other waters that directly connect to them. It's not a grab-all, whatever the agency wants to regulate."
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