Posthaste Facts on the Environment #3

Overzealous Environmental Regulators Brand Ordinary Americans "Criminals"

Produced 1992

Excessive regulation turns ordinary Americans into "criminals." Americans can be fined or imprisoned for routine improvements to their own land. Mechanic Johm Poszgai knows this only too well.

John Poszgai, a mechanic in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, was given a three-year prison sentence and fined $202,000. His crime? He cleared land littered with three decades worth of tires, auto parts and other trash and hauled in clean fill to make way for a new garage he wanted to build for his growing business. The property Mr. Poszgai cleared, which was zoned for "light industry" at the time, was determined by the Environmental Protection Agency to be a "wetland." As result, Poszgai was convicted of 41 separate counts of violating the Clean Water Act.

Ironically, Poszgai's actions proved to be environmentally beneficial: a stream near his property -- once polluted -- now runs clear due to his efforts.

Sources: National Wilderness Institute Resource, Fall 1992; Audubon, July 1992; and Reason Magazine, April 1991


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #3, published in 1992 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #3 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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