United States: U.S. Supreme Court Limits Federal Jurisdiction Over Wetlands

In a 5-4 decision issued on May 25, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the applicability of federal Clean Water Act regulatory authority over wetlands that have a relatively permanent connection to other federal waters. The crux of the Court’s holding in Sackett v. EPA is that, in order to be considered waters of the United States (WOTUS), wetlands and other water features must be “indistinguishable” from traditional navigable waters due to a continuous surface connection. The standard established by Sackett marks a departure from the previously utilized “significant nexus test,” wherein water features are considered WOTUS when there […]

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By Donato