Small Businesses Assured with U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Sackett v. EPA

Date: May 25, 2023

Sackett v. EPA concerned WOTUS standard for property owners

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 25, 2023)NFIB applauds today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. The Court determined the EPA and the Department of the Army had overstepped the federal authorities granted under the Clean Water Act. NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case arguing against the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

“Today’s decision in Sackett v. EPA provides long-needed clarity for small business owners and landowners,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “The ever-changing standard and definition of ‘waters of the United States’ has disproportionately impacted small businesses, including farmers, ranchers, home builders, and contractors. The Supreme Court’s ruling today affirmed the limits set by Congress and will rein in the extreme interpretation of the Clean Water Act.”

The case questioned whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. When a wetland is deemed to be a “water of the United States,” and thus subject to EPA’s jurisdiction, landowners can expect both bureaucratic and financial obstacles to improving their lands. Today’s decision narrows the number of situations in which the EPA will have jurisdiction.

In December, NFIB opposed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the Department of the Army’s final rule on the waters of the United States.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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