Supreme Court: Farmers Can Challenge Wetlands Determinations

Taylor Hillman General, Industry News Release, Water

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that landowners can challenge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “judicial determinations” on wetlands in court.

The ruling could have broad ramifications because it raises questions about the future of the Clean Water Act, which prohibits “the discharge of any pollutant” without a permit into “navigable waters,” which it defines, in turn, as “the waters of the United States,” according to the Hagstrom Report. Farm groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, applauded the decision. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says “now farmers and ranchers can have their day in court when the government tells them they cannot plow a field or improve a ditch without a federal permit.” Critics of the EPA and the Army Corps noted that some justices said the situation could impact how the courts rule on the Clean Water Rule, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule.