Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Man jailed for 30 days after building reservoirs on HIS OWN LAND with enough water to fill 20 Olympic-sized pools

Gary Harrington, of Oregon, began serving a 30-day sentence last Wednesday for collecting rainwater and snow runoff in three reservoirs that he had built on his own property.

The Eagle Point man was found guilty two weeks ago for violating a 1925 law which says all water is publicly owned.

Harrington, 64, was convicted of nine misdemeanors and received a $1,500 fine in addition to the jail term.

arrington surrendered himself to authorities to begin his prison term and said that he was sacrificing himself to stand up for liberty, according to AOL Real Estate.
‘When it comes to the point where a rural landowner can't catch rainwater that falls on his land to protect his property, it's gone too far,’ he told the Associated Press following his conviction.

Oregon's Water Resources Department said that while it is legal to set up rainwater collection barrels on roofs or other surfaces, Harrington's reservoirs went far beyond that and required permits.

‘Mr Harrington has operated these three reservoirs in flagrant violation of Oregon law for more than a decade,’ the department's deputy director, Tom Paul, told the Medford Mail Tribune.

The state initially approved permits for Harrington's water collection pools on his 170-acre property in 2003, but ultimately reversed its decision.

‘They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically,’ Harrington told CNSNews.com. ‘They took them back and said, 'No, you can't have them.' So I've been fighting it ever since.’

Harrington has been ordered to drain his three reservoirs, but the Eagle Point resident remains defiant and ready to continue the fight. He said that he is only collecting rainwater for personal use and fire suppression, and that the state is infringing upon his rights.
‘The government is bullying,' he told CNSNews.com. ‘They've just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies.
‘So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail.’

His legal adviser said they are willing to fight the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187977/Man-jailed-30-days-building-reservoirs-HIS-OWN-LAND-water-20-Olympic-sized-pools.html

1 comment:

  1. As a lawyer, who doesn't know anything at all about Oregon water law, it does seem to me that the State can't own the water God dropped on this man's land, until it runs off and down to some publicly owned water body or river. Every roof diverts water. Many Cities store water to restore water tables that are depleted by too many people pumping wells. What happened with the jury?