The Sacketts and the Clean Water Act
Published: January 8, 2012
Chantell and Michael Sackett’s case against the Environmental Protection Agency before the Supreme Court on Monday might appear to be David versus Goliath. But those supporting the Sacketts with friend-of-the-court briefs are corporate Goliaths like General Electric and real estate developers eager to weaken the E.P.A.’s ability to protect wetlands and waterways under the federal Clean Water Act.
The Sacketts owned a small lot about 500 feet from Idaho’s pristine Priest Lake. They filled part of it with dirt and rock in preparing to build a house. The E.P.A. determined that the lot is federally protected wetland so the Sacketts needed a permit to do the work, which they did not seek. The agency ordered the couple to remove the fill because pollutants were being discharged.
This case goes far beyond the Sacketts’ right to fill in their lot without a permit. If the Supreme Court allows them to seek pre-enforcement review, it will be handing a big victory to corporations and developers who want to evade the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Read the full story here: The New York Times
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