Mike Sackett dreamed of building a home on Idaho's Priest Lake ever since he camped there with friends in high school.
"I remember coming home, told my mom and dad that I was going to move to Priest Lake, and they just said, 'Oh, no you're not.' And I said, 'Oh yeah. Yeah I am,'" Sackett said.
Years later, Sackett realized that dream when he and his wife, Chantelle Sackett, bought a plot of land near Priest Lake and started to build. After securing the necessary permits from local authorities, the Sacketts were only three days into the process of clearing the land when officials from the EPA showed up and put their dreams on hold.
The EPA informed the Sacketts that they suspected they were building on wetlands and had to cease work immediately. The Sacketts were stunned because their property was a completely landlocked lot within an existing subdivision. When Chantelle Sackett asked for evidence, the EPA pointed her to the National Fish and Wildlife Wetlands Inventory, which showed them that their lot... was not on an existing wetland.
The EPA responded issued what's known as a compliance order, which said that the Sacketts were in violation of the Clean Water Act and subject to fines of up to $37,500 a day.
"You go to bed with that on your mind every night," said Mike Sackett, who owns a contracting company. "It's been painful personally. It's been painful on our business."