The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly floated a rule claiming authority to bypass the courts and unilaterally garnish paychecks of those accused of violating its rules, a power currently used by agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service.
The EPA has been flexing
its regulatory muscle under President Obama, collecting more fines each
year and hitting individuals with costly penalties for violating
environmental rules, including recently slapping a $75,000 fine on
Wyoming homeowner Andy Johnson for building a pond on his rural
“The EPA has a history of overreaching its authority.
It seems like once again the EPA is trying to take power it doesn’t have
away from American citizens,” Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican,
said when he learned of the EPA’s wage garnishment scheme.
Others questioned why the EPA decided to strengthen its collection muscle at this time.
said the threat of garnishing wages would be a powerful incentive for
people to agree to expensive settlements rather than fight EPA charges.
officials did not respond to repeated questions by The Washington Times
about why they thought it was necessary to garnish people’s wages.