Court ruling could weaken EPA authority

By on March 28, 2012

In a potentially groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court ruled last week that two Idaho homebuilders had the right to challenge an Environmental Protection Agency administrative compliance order. The agency halted Mike and Chantell Sackett’s construction of their new home in 2007, stating that their property included wetlands protected under the Clean Water Act. Under the act, wetlands cannot be disturbed without a permit. However, the Sacketts spoke to the Army Corps of Engineers and was told a federal permit was not needed to build on their land.

The Sacketts went to the Supreme Court to challenge their rights to contest the EPA’s determination that protected wetlands exist on their property. The court ruling in their favor could mean an increase in other citizens challenging the EPA’s administrative compliance orders, of which nearly 3,000 are issued annually.

Read more at Businessweek and CBS News.

Image credit: Kyle Johnson for Bloomberg Businessweek

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