Tag Archives: Duarte Nursery

Federal court rules a farmer plowing his land violates Clean Water Act

Fascists: A federal court has ruled that a farmer in California is violating the Clean Water Act by plowing his own property.

The court ruled that the company violated the Clean Water Act by plowing its property, even though the Act exempts normal farming practices. And, the implementing regulations state that plowing is never even subject to the Act, so long as it does not convert wetlands to dry land. Since no wetlands were lost or reduced in acreage by the plowing in this case, the court’s decision amounts to a rule that you may not plow in federally regulated wetlands without an Army Corps permit, the clear exemptions to the contrary notwithstanding.

The court also reversed an earlier ruling in the case and held that although the Corps ordered Duarte Nursery to halt all activity in any area of its property that could be considered waters of the U.S. on its property, the company did not suffer any deprivation of its property. On this basis, the court then ruled that Duarte Nursery’s due process rights have not been violated by being ordered not to farm its property for the last three years.

More here. Even though the Supreme Court has twice told the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers that their interpretation of the Clean Water Act is wrong and overreaching, the agencies continue to use their interpretation to fine and restrict the actions of farmers and private property owners. In this case, they are forbidding a farming company from farming their property under Clean Water Act regulations, even though the law specifically exempts farming from Clean Water Act regulations and the Supreme Court has also ruled that interpretation of the law by these agencies is wrong.

What makes this worse is that a California federal court has agreed with the agencies, even though the Supreme Court has previously ruled otherwise. It is as if the lower federal court in California have decided they don’t need to follow the rulings of the higher court.