Supreme Court Delivers Ruling on WOTUS

by Andy Schwab

According to a Reuters article, the US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of landowners and ag groups to overturn a lower courts decision that upheld the EPA’s determination of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS).

The justices in a 9-0 decision overturned a lower court’s ruling against the couple, Chantell and Mike Sackett, that had upheld the EPA’s determination that their property near a lake contained wetlands protected by the Clean Water Act of 1972. Though the justices unanimously agreed to reverse the lower court’s decision, they differed in their reasoning for doing so.

The case decided on Thursday stemmed from the Sacketts’ purchase in 2004 of an undeveloped plot of land about 300 feet (90 meters) from Priest Lake, one of the largest lakes in Idaho, near the U.S.-Canada border. In 2007, the couple began preparing construction of a home on it. But after placing sand and gravel fill on the lot, the EPA issued an administrative compliance order stating the property contained wetlands protected by the Clean Water Act and that they needed a permit to build, which they had failed to obtain.

This is a developing story and we will have more on it as ag groups react to the news.


Reuters/Northern Ag Network – 2023

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