NFIB Small Business Legal Center Asks Supreme Court to Allow Property Owners A Day In Court

Date: December 01, 2014

www.NFIB.com
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Eric Reller
202-314-2073 or [email protected]


NFIB Small
Business Legal Center Asks Supreme Court to Allow Property Owners A Day In
Court


WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1,
2014
Karen
Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center
, made the
following statement as NFIB today files a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court
to take up the case of Kent Recycling v.
Army Corps of Engineers.

“Small
business property owners are asking the Supreme Court to provide relief from
the ever-growing morass that is the Clean Water Act. Once the Environmental
Protection Agency or the Army Corps of Engineers asserts that a specific property
contains federally regulated wetlands, a property owner should be able to
challenge the agency’s jurisdiction in court. They shouldn’t be required to spend
months, and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, to achieve standing. NFIB
believes that small business property owners deserve a day in court –
whenever a federal agency makes a decision affecting their legal rights, and we
hope the Supreme Court allows the legal system to provide redress against
regulatory overreach.”

In this case, the
court would decide whether a landowner has the right to challenge the EPA or
Army Corps’ jurisdiction after an agency issues a “jurisdictional
determination” that an individual’s property contains federally regulated
wetlands. There is currently no practical solution for an owner if the property
is alleged to contain “wetlands” unless the owner has the resources to pursue an
expensive federal permit, which often costs upwards of $150,000. And if the
property owner forgoes the permit, they may face $37,500 per day in fines, and/or
jail time for a knowing violation. NFIB is asking the Supreme Court to allow
small business property owners to challenge the agency’s determination without
first going through the long, costly, and often unnecessary permitting process.

NFIB has filed
comments
and supported
legislation
that would stop the agencies from expanding the Clean Water Act
(CWA) to include farmers’ ponds,
seasonal streams and even temporary bodies of water. If the agencies are
successful in expanding the definition of wetlands far beyond CWA’s
original design – property
owners, small businesses and farmers would face significant new regulations and
costly litigation.

###

The
NFIB Small Business
Legal Center
 is a 501(c)(3)
organization created to protect the rights of America’s small business owners
by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice
of small business is heard in the nation’s courts. The National Federation of
Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with
offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals

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