John Rapanos was charged with violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) when he filled in a portion of his property, despite the fact that it was located 20 miles away from any navigable water. The NFIB Legal Center joined, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors, and other interested groups, in filing an amicus brief in his support.
At issue was the question of whether the federal government could assert jurisdiction over wetlands which do not actually abut the "navigable waters" to which the CWA refers. Ultimately the Court rejected the government's expansive arguments and held that the CWA only confers federal jurisdiction where there is a nexus between the waters in question and "navigable waters of the united states." This case was an important win, not just for Rapanos but also for the more than 20,000 NFIB members that own real property and construction firms.
Status: Decided - United States Supreme Court!