Unless, of course, you are City Hall. This is especially true when City Hall is a euphemism for the federal government in Washington, D. C.
American Thinker reports the details. Although the saga of Michael and Chantell Sackett has been reported several times in the conservative blogs, it bears repeating.
The Sackett saga started several years ago when they bought a residential lot in an already built out development near Priest Lake in Idaho. They planned to build a three bedroom retirement home and after receiving all the necessary local permits plus a sewer hookup, they broke ground by removing dirt and filling with clean gravel. Without warning, the Sacketts received an order from the EPA to immediately stop their project and return everything to the way it was or they may be fined up to $75,000 per day because the EPA claimed under the Clean Water Act that the lot was a wetland. The Sacketts ask for a hearing with the EPA, which was ignored. They then filed suit in federal court and their case was thrown out. The case finally went to the Supreme Court where they won. Well, sort of won. The Supreme Court threw it back to the federal court saying the Sacketts deserved a hearing on their case. So we still do not know if the Sacketts will ever get to build their retirement home.
To demonstrate the hypocrisy of our federal government, the AT article tells us about another “wetland” project in Washington, D.C. Someone, I have to assume a private group of investors, wants to build, at a cost of $1.5 billion, luxury townhouses, a yacht club and, other buildings on piers over the Washington Channel. But the Washington Channel comes under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers, which must abide by the same EPA rules which were applied to the Sacketts in Idaho. Therefore the Corps of Engineers refuses to give the necessary permits saying:
Based on its CWA concerns and adverse impact on marine navigation, the Corps stated that “[a]t this time, the Corps does not have the administrative authority to approve the project as proposed without specific Congressional action to dissolve the federal interest.” (bold added)
But not to fear. So-called independent Congressman, Joe Lieberman, in one day drafts a bill to strip the Corps of Engineers of their authority and gets it passed by the Senate and sends it to the House. And we don’t hear a word from the EPA.
This where the AT article gets interesting and just a little confusing.
Congress may have wised up last week when it pulled this D.C. rescue bill from the Suspension Calendar, which is used to pass “non-controversial” legislation. Unfortunately, it was pulled not because of the hypocrisy in how the federal government enforces the Clean Water Act against Americans trying to build a family home compared to the government’s treatment of large corporations and cities trying to build luxury high-rise townhouse on piers actually out over the water, but because Congress is concerned that the bill as modified by the Senate may constitute an “earmark” for D.C. in violation of the House’s ban on earmarks. (bold added)
Earmarks??? The only way earmarks can be involved is if there is federal (yours and mine) money appropriated to this project. Is this some more of Obama’s “stimulus”? Something stinks and the oder is not coming from Denmark.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?