Wyoming Senators Applaud Supreme Court Decision in Sackett vs EPA
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 25, 2023
Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis issued statements after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the case ruling in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency(2023.)
Chantell and Michael Sackett purchased a 0.63-acre vacant lot near Priest Lake, Idaho, in 2004. They began constructing their home in the spring of 2007 after obtaining building permits from local authorities. Shortly after, United States Environmental Protection Agency officials informed the Sacketts that their lot might be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act, as it contained “wetlands” that were “navigable waters.”
The E.P.A. directed the Sacketts to halt construction until they received a United States Army Corps of Engineers permit. The Sacketts received an administrative compliance order from the E.P.A. in the fall of 2007. In 2008, they sued under the Administrative Procedure Act. The lower courts held E.P.A. compliance orders were not subject to the A.P.A., but the Supreme Court reversed in a 2012 decision of the same name.
On May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Sacketts.
Senator Barrasso applauded the decision, saying the ruling narrowed the authority of the E.P.A. and the federal government in regulating “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.
SCOTUS ruled again to rein in an out-of-control @EPA. EPA’s overreach in defining #WOTUS to include any piece of land it wants to regulate is unconstitutional. This is a big win in our fight to stop federal overreach and protect private property rights. https://t.co/dgVKnBg101
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) May 25, 2023
“The Supreme Court again ruled to rein in an out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.). The Court confirmed what we’ve been saying for years. E.P.A.’s overreach in defining the ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) to include any piece of land it wants to regulate is unconstitutional. This ruling is a big win in our fight to stop federal overreach and protect Americans’ private property rights.”
Meanwhile, Senator Lummis cosponsored a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn this rule. The Senate passed that C.R.A. in March, which President Biden vetoed.
Senator Lummis said this ruling is a major win for farmers and ranchers in Wyoming, as it provides regulatory clarity regarding what is and what is not covered under the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers’ definition of a WOTUS.
“The Biden Administration overreached its authority in defining which waters received federal protections, and I’m glad the Supreme Court agreed with what Republicans have been saying all along. After decades of uncertainty, we finally have a majority opinion from the Supreme Court that will lay this issue to rest once and for all,” said Sen. Lummis. “This court ruling is a win for the hardworking farmers, ranchers, businesses, and landowners of Wyoming who desperately needed regulatory clarity when it comes to WOTUS. An irrigation ditch is not navigable water, and the Supreme Court agrees with that statement.”