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Supreme Court Favors Owners Rights

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The U.S. Supreme Court has come to a unanimous decision on behalf of property owners in Sackett v. EPA. The Sacketts’ homebuilding was halted by EPA in 2007 based on the agency’s assertion that the Idaho couple’s home site was a wetland. Although the couple believed their land was not a wetland, they were denied any opportunity to challenge EPA’s ‘compliance order’ and faced up to $37,500 per day in potential fines until the matter was settled.

The American Farm Bureau Federation filed amicus briefs in the case to educate the court about the legal and on-the-ground consequences of Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act policies. According to Farm Bureau, – the decision vindicates the rights of landowners like the Sacketts to challenge EPA compliance orders that improperly assert jurisdiction over their land.

Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says – we agree with Justice Alito’s concurring opinion that the federal government has too often ‘put the property rights of ordinary Americans entirely at the mercy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s employees.’ We also agree with Justice Alito that, while allowing landowners to sue is a start, Congress needs to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act.

Source: NAFB News Service