New Supreme Court Decision Limits Federal Reach Over Wet Areas
In a long-awaited decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided in favor of landowners on a case (Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) that hinges on federal limits over waters and wet areas. AGC submitted a friend of the court brief in support of the Sacketts. The decision aligns with AGC’s brief, and the Justices acknowledge the need for clarity due to the severity of criminal sanctions under the Clean Water Act, a key issue that AGC raised. The Court roundly rejects the use of the flawed “significant nexus” test for determining when projects require a federal permit and establishes a new test for evaluating when a wetland is a Waters of the United States (WOTUS).