The Supreme Court rolled back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in a unanimous decision Thursday.
Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, brought by a couple prevented by the EPA from building a home on their own land near Priest Lake, Idaho because it contained wetlands, considered the scope of the agency’s “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which defines what “navigable waters” can be regulated under the CWA. Plaintiffs Chantell and Mike Sackett, who have spent 15 years fighting the agency’s rule in court, allege the EPA has overstepped the authority it was granted when Congress enacted the CWA in 1972—forcing them to stop construction on their land or face fines.
The House of Representatives voted 227-198 Thursday to overturn the Biden administration’s “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which has been heavily criticized for broadening the definition of what are considered “navigable waters” subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act.
Republicans say the rule places a costly burden on landowners, ranchers, and farmers by claiming regulatory control over lands containing small streams and wetlands. All but one Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, voted to overturn the rule, with nine Democrats joining.
Two former Greenfield Township wastewater treatment plant employees were found guilty of multiple Clean Water Act violations and wire fraud.
The father-son duo, Bruce Evans, Sr., and Bruce Evans, Jr., routinely failed to follow guidelines imposed by the environmental law and restrictions imposed in a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the United States Environmental Protections Agency (EPA).