Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Controversial EPA Wetlands Rule

Posted 112 days ago


The Supreme Court agreed Jan. 24 to hear a challenge to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s long-controversial claim that the presence of surface water on private property makes it a protected wetland subject to federal regulations.

The National Association of Home Builders and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce had urged the court to take up the case.

A ruling against the EPA could allow developers to build more new houses without becoming entangled in federal bureaucracy.

The high court agreed in an unsigned order Jan. 24 to hear the case, Sackett v. EPA, an appeal from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

In its order, the Supreme Court indicated it would consider, “Whether the Ninth Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are ‘waters of the United States’ under the Clean Water Act.”

The granting of the petition for review makes it the second major environmental case to be placed on the Supreme Court’s current docket.

On Feb. 28 the court will hear West Virginia v. EPA, a potentially landmark case that could finally place limits on the sweeping powers of the federal environmental agency that critics have long said is out of control.

Energy companies and Republican-led states asked the court to rein in EPA’s authority to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act.

In the case at hand, Chantell and Mike Sackett had started building what they hoped would be a new home in Priest Lake, Idaho, when the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers o... (Read more)