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POWER/MONEY GRAB: EPA Now Garnishing Wages

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The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly claimed that it has the authority to unilaterally garnish the wages of individuals who have been accused of violating its rules.

According to The Washington Times, the agency announced the plan to enhance its purview last week in a notice in the Federal Register. The notice claimed that federal law allows the EPA to “garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.”

The notice went on to say that the EPA had fast-tracked the new rule, enabling it to take effect September 2 unless the agency receives enough adverse public comments by August 1. The EPA said the rule was not subject to review because it was not a “significant regulatory action.”

The EPA has claimed this new authority by citing the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which gives all federal agencies the power to conduct administrative wage garnishment, provided that the agency allows for hearings at which debtors can challenge the amount or the terms of a repayment schedule.

In response to the report, an EPA spokeswoman also pointed to a Department of Treasury rule from 2011 outlining debt collection for various agencies, including the EPA.

“Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) would apply only after EPA attempts to collect delinquent debts and after Treasury attempts to collect delinquent debts through other means,” the spokeswoman told FoxNews.com. The spokeswoman added that the agency would provide notice “prior to any action,” giving the debtor the opportunity to “review, contest or enter into a repayment agreement.”

The plan has drawn protests from conservatives, including Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who told The Washington Times, “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.”

The conservative Heritage Foundation claimed that the rule gives the EPA “unbridled discretion” over the process of challenging fines. David Addington, group vice president for research at Heritage, told the Times that the rule not only puts the burden of proof on the debtor, rather than the agency, but also allows the EPA to decide whether a debtor even gets a chance to present a defense before picking whomever it chooses to serve as a hearing officer.

The amount of money the EPA has collected in fines has increased steadily since President Obama took office. In 2012, the agency took in $252 million in fines, up from just $96 million in 2009.

READ MORE AT THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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  • astrojohn

    “The amount of money the EPA has collected
    in fines has increased steadily since President Obama took office. In
    2012, the agency took in $252 million in fines, up from just $96 million
    in 2009.” And what do the bastards do with the money – have parties and give themselves bonuses! Viva La Revolutione!

  • justathinker

    How much “adverse” reaction is “enough?” EPA conducts all of it’s business through this kind of fiat; the accused are not allowed to file a formal complaint or grievance until they have complied. Our forefathers began a war when treated this way.

    • GQ4U

      Actually, Thomas Jefferson viewed the federal government as something we were perpetually at war with and we may need to shed blood from time to time in order to preserve our individual sovereignty. He was right. Look up the “Tree-of-Liberty” quote by Tom.

      • justathinker

        “A little revolution every now and again can be a good thing”

        • GQ4U

          Big ones can be nice too.

  • HDMania

    Get rid of all three letter corrupt govt agencys..

    • Congress do your Job

      .

      Our government was designed for congress via the House of Representatives and the Senate to personally make and pass the laws governing interstate conduct in the US. Congress has permitted the government to grow so large they can no longer retain control over the areas that they have chosen to regulate they created agencies and delegated to them the power to pass regulations that have the effect of laws. The problem comes in when the agencies go rogue such as the USDA and the EPA and the IRS pass regulations without consulting or approval of congress. What needs to happen is for congress to regain control of the laws by abolishing these rogue agencies and insisting that all laws affecting the country be required to go through the process of the House of Rep and the Senate. If congress does not have the time to consider the law and its implications it should not be passed. We ended up with the queen owebombs euthanasia/genocide plan because congress would not take the time to even read a law that was written by proponents of universal health Care (a disaster in itself).
      .

  • jd1958

    Theft by government! Taxation without representation is Tyranny!!!

  • Ericsr

    Just another over reach by an unconstitutional gov’t agency. But they are allowed to run around saying that American citizens cannot save water from rain. Now they regulate rain and charge people for saving water and if they can’t pay for it they steal it from your paycheck? The next president should abolish all of these rouge Agencys!!!

    • Congress do your job

      .

      Repost from above:

      .

      Our government was designed for congress via the House of Representatives and the Senate to personally make and pass the laws governing interstate conduct in the US. Congress has permitted the government to grow so large they can no longer retain control over the areas that they have chosen to regulate they created agencies and delegated to them the power to pass regulations that have the effect of laws. The problem comes in when the agencies go rogue such as the USDA and the EPA and the IRS pass regulations without consulting or approval of congress. What needs to happen is for congress to regain control of the laws by abolishing these rogue agencies and insisting that all laws affecting the country be required to go through the process of the House of Rep and the Senate. If congress does not have the time to consider the law and its implications it should not be passed. We ended up with the queen owebombs euthanasia/genocide plan because congress would not take the time to even read a law that was written by proponents of universal health Care (a disaster in itself).
      .

  • Chained

    Time to start shooting

  • Lorraine E

    The e.p.a. is an illegal agency and the congress should entirely defund it. Then when all of its employees go home terminate the agency permanently.

  • Joken Joe

    Big government, next you know all wages go to federal government.then they give you what you need, to each his own according to his needs. Lennon.how’s the change working out Amerika.

  • GQ4U

    “Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG)
    would apply only after EPA attempts to collect delinquent debts and
    after Treasury attempts to collect delinquent debts through other
    means.”

    It seems the US Treasury Department should be left to collect the debt after the EPA clearly proves the supposed debtor owes the debt. EPA is an out of control agency that should not be granted any further power — in fact, I favor its complete annihilation — dismantle it, repeal it or whatever else is needed to tear it out by its roots. This single agency is responsible for the permanent loss of millions of jobs.
    At least Boehner is ‘talking’ about suing our lawless president — but he’s five-years too late and dozens of cases too short, so arresting BHO seems the best and most direct method of dealing with this corrupted POTUS. This is what happens when you elect damaged goods to run things.

  • Mark Brickey

    the next President needs to eliminate this department ASAP. It is not constitutional, non-elected, etc.

  • mathis1689

    The EPA needs to be immediately and permanently abolished along with a lot of other government agencies that I could name.

  • JJM123

    “enabling it to take effect September 2 unless the agency receives enough adverse public comments by August 1.” So where is the direct link to lodge our adverse comments??

    “allows the EPA to “garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.” And our ‘hearing’ will be conducted by what impartial group? Do you know what a kangaroo court is?

    • SAR2012

      For the purposes of the American legal system, a kangaroo court is the ‘administrative law’ system. Few have ever even heard of it, however it is as pervasive as the civil & criminal justice systems, while virtually unfettered by any external supervisory bodies, much less having any accountability to the public … see, e.g., Lois Lerner, et. al., BATF at Ruby Ridge, Waco, Fast & Furious, etc.

      Undoubtedly it would be imprudent to lend public endorsement to the events chronicled in the novel “Unintended Consequences,” yet one must wonder if the
      JBTs of the Fascist alphabet agencies truly believe themselves immune to such retaliation. There are millions of patriotic Americans incensed by arbitrary tyrannical actions such as the EPA’s here. The recent events at the Bundy Ranch and in Riverside County offer strong evidence such smug hubris is on the cusp of a well-deserved destruction.

  • newhon63

    Who gave the EPA the power to unilaterally garnish wages? I want to read the legislation that allows them to give themselves the right to do this. Anyone have a link to that legislation or was it part of one of “The Boy King’s” Executive temper tantrums that allowed them to do it? I wish someone in the House had the gnads to put this punk over their knee and spank his butt black and blue like any other spoiled child. We know Harry Reid and those in the Senate will not do it.

    Better yet. The House needs to use their most powerful tool given to them by the Constitution, the Power of the Purse. Defund these policies that Obama has passed unilaterally. He can pass anything he wants but without the money to make it go then it is worth as much as the ink out of his pen. I wish a jouralist that is not connected to one of Obama’s adoring press outlets would talk to several high ranking House members and ask them “No dancing, no hollow rhetoric, no political posturing, Congressman/Congresswoman. Why is The House avoiding the use of the Power of the Purse to stop the damage being done by ObamaCare and all the other overreaches of the government?” That is what the American people want to know.

    We have been show over and over again that House Speaker Boenhor does not have the stomach to use it to stop the stupid stuff. He would rather bring suit against the President, knowing that Obama will be out of office by the time the case is even heard and if it does get heard before it then, it will not go anywhere.

    It just occurred to me what is wrong with government. There are too many lawyers snd not enough, if any, Statesmen.

  • ADRoberts

    I don’t understand. Just how can a citizen come to owe the EPA any money. Aren’t they just involved in bureaucratic regulations that effect businesses. So how does someone owe them money.
    I guess the bureaucrats caught someone passing gas and fined them for air pollution.

  • SAR2012

    Who is John Galt? One must wonder where the Revolution will begin, what the spark will be, what will be the Lexington Green of our time? Clearly the moment is coming, the time for it already here, actually … Bundy, Murietta … long past time for American patriots to give serious consideration to watering Jefferson’s tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.

  • daveveselenak

    E-(xtortionists) P-(illaging A-(merica) must be stopped as well as the Muslim-Marxist jihadist! These communists must be confronted head on because if they are not then kiss your asses goodbye!

  • Phillipe Violette

    abolish the EPA

  • Term Limits is just a Start

    .
    this is exactly why I rail against government agencies and our representatives not doing what we elected them to do. Our government consists of three branches, the legislative, the judicial, and the administrative branches. Congress, the House of representatives and the Senate are supposed to make the laws but over the years they have abdicated their SWORN duties and appointed agencies who in turn pass regulations that are interpreted as laws. This permits agencies like the EPA the IRS the FBI, The treasury and others to run roughshod over the populace. We need to establish term limits AND equally important to insist that ALL laws originate in either the house or the senate and be passed by both houses. If there are too many laws then repeal them an start from scratch.

    let me quote James Madison “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood”

    Laws need to be written in everyday English and understandable by the common man. Currently there are so many laws passed in one day by different agencies that a citizen could not read them in the balance of their lifetime. If you don’t believe me try just try to read and understand the internal revenue code. You cannot even get two IRS agents to agree to the current taxes owed by an individual given identical facts.

  • Collect taxes of EPA & IRS

    .
    Why are they not collecting the back taxes owed by EPA and IRS employees? that amounts to several Hundred million dollars alone
    .