EPA Wants the Power to Garnish Your Wages

This should not be allowed to happen. Ever. The Washington Times reports:

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 property.


This would do away with due process, at a time when the EPA is becoming the regulatory state by which the hard left assaults Americans’ property rights and the economy.

The EPA is also mired in a scandal and has lost some significant cases in court.

It does not have the power that it is grabbing. President Obama could step up and make a good name for himself by announcing that he will stop this rule change, but it’s probably happening at his behest. The regulatory state has been his weapon of choice to impose policies that have not been approved by Congress.

It’s up to Congress to stop it, and a Republican senator is stepping up.

“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.

Critics said the threat of garnishing wages would be a powerful incentive for people to agree to expensive settlements rather than fight EPA charges.

The EPA rolled the plan out sneakily last week, and now it’s not answering any questions about it. Those two facts alone show that the agency can’t be trusted. Here’s one more.


Putting the collection powers on a fast track, the agency announced it in the Federal Register as a “direct final rule” that would take effect automatically Sept. 2, unless the EPA receives adverse public comments by Aug. 1.

The EPA said it deemed the action as not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore not subject to review.

Here’s a negative comment: Under no circumstances should the EPA be allowed to do this. None. Ever.

h/t JWF


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