OPINION: The Supreme Court’s EPA Smack Down Is Groundbreaking
I'd like to take a moment to thank the U.S. supreme court for its important decision regarding Waters Of The U.S. and explain why I think this is the biggest decision by the court in a generation. - Glenn Woods
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, in a 9-0 decision, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overstepped its authority to police water on private property.
This decision is a big deal on many levels.
The authority to regulate waters was given to the EPA by Congress.
But then the agency went on to push the limits of how much authority it was given.
Included in the court's decision were the constitutional limits given to the Federal government on what waters the feds have control over and what they do not.
The case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency has a direct impact on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules.
The court's decision states that the Clean Water Act does not allow the EPA to regulate discharges into some wetlands near bodies of water.
The court ruled that the EPA only has jurisdiction over navigable waters of the United States, which is how the Constitution outlines the Federal government's limits.
This decision is in line with a court ruling from a year ago regarding the EPA’s power to address climate change under the Clean Air Act.
We had reached a point where bureaucrats from the EPA would show up and begin inventing infractions and fines on the spot.
Essentially inventing whatever new laws as the mood struck them.
In the case in question, the land owners said that they would take the EPA to court.
The EPA responded that they were the EPA, and could not be sued.
That was the first EPA ruling in this case where the high court put the EPA in its place, telling them that, of course, you can be sued.
The landowners were then able to bring this case before the court.
There have been several other cases across the USA, and here in Wyoming, where the EPA had overstepped its bounds in this way.
The case of Andy Johnson, who lives in the far southwestern part of Wyoming, where he had a representative of the EPA show up on his property declaring his stock pond to be in violation of laws that were being invented on the spot.
The pond was constructed in cooperation with all state of Wyoming environmental rules.
Andy Johnson fought and eventually reached a settlement with the EPA.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., slammed the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday.
"This MAGA Supreme Court is continuing to erode our country's environmental laws," Schumer tweeted after the opinion was released. "Make no mistake – this ruling will mean more polluted water, and more destruction of wetlands." (Chuck Schumer).
But the court ruled 9-0, and not all members of the court are conservative, most were appointed by liberal democrat presidents.
Furthermore, this ruling turns over control of these waterways to the states, as was intended by our constitution.
That does not mean that suddenly those waterways will be destroyed by those states.
Local government was taking care of local waters just fine before the EPA overreach.