The Supreme Court just rolled back the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate small bodies of water.
The Clean Water Act gives the EPA the ability to regulate navigable waters or “adjacent wetlands.” But this can include water that isn’t actually connected to a larger body and on private property.
It even means the EPA can prevent landowners like Mike and Chantell Sackett from building.
But the Supreme Court unanimously sided with the landowners while drastically limiting the Agency’s authority. They say a wetland must adjoin a larger body of water to fall under regulations.
Liberal justices do believe the majority decision goes too far in reducing authority. They accuse conservative justices of making themselves “the national decision-maker on environmental policy.”
The White House also condemns the decision.
The ruling will impact the Biden Administration, which recently expanded the Clean Water Act to include any ponds and wetlands that are “relatively permanent.’ That rule took effect on March 20, but was swiftly blocked by a federal court when 24 Republican-led states sued.