Small Business Praises Supreme Court Decision Allowing Landowners to Challenge Agency’s Jurisdiction Under the Clean Water Act

Date: May 31, 2016

Unanimous decision supports land owners’ rights

For Immediate Release
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWimer

Washington, D.C. (May 31, 2016) – Small businesses should breathe a little easier with the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling this morning in Hawkes v. Army Corps of Engineers.

The case settled a longstanding question about whether landowners have a right to immediately challenge the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act. With today’s decision the Court clarified that landowners may contest Army Corp’s conclusion that any given property contains jurisdictional waters.

“Today’s decision opened the court house doors for landowners who would otherwise find themselves in a catch-22,” said NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned. “The Obama Administration’s position would have effectively forced landowners to treat their properties as nature preserves.  We are relieved to see the Court affirmed the fundamental right of citizens to challenge regulatory overreach.”

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