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Supreme Court rules property owners can sue government over wetlands decisions!

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Here is some good news for property owners and miners.

The government CAN be challenged over the Clean Water Act.



Property owners won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled Tuesday that they can go to court to challenge government decisions over whether a wetland or stream is subject to the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements.

In U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., the court unanimously ruled that “jurisdictional determinations” on permitting requirements constitute final agency actions and therefore are subject to judicial review.

The U.S. Supreme Court has given landowners a "meaningful way" to challenge wrongful application of the Clean Water Act, says the Pacific Legal Foundation.

The case involves three companies that mine peat and wanted to discharge material into wetlands on their property in Marshall County, Minn.

The ruling “is a triumph for property rights, for simple fairness, and for the rule of law,” said M. Reed Hopper, principal attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented the businesses.

“For more than 40 years, millions of landowners nationwide have had no meaningful way to challenge wrongful application of the federal Clean Water Act to their land,” Hopper said. “They have been put at the mercy of the government because land covered by the act is subject to complete federal control. But all that changed today. The Supreme Court ruled that wetlands ‘jurisdictional determinations’ can be immediately challenged in court.”

A new rule issued by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency would make more bodies of water subject to the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements. But its legality is being challenged by a lawsuit filed by business groups and more than a dozen states.


Edited by mn90403
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I'll be listening during the Rinehart oral arguments tomorrow to see if this case gets mentioned.  By analogy it would appear that recent California legislation may be covered by this federal principle, albeit only indirectly.

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YAHOO righteous ruling, Rinehart live over the net today-looks like sooner that the original 2pm time?? After the horrendous Oregon Supreme Court loss of Federal Preemption we needed this REAL bad-Here we go because as soon as ruling is out, Ochoa rules in San Bernadino---as the stomach churns...sic sic sic-John

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Similar good news story:

Wyoming welder, facing $16M in fines, beats EPA in battle over stock pond.. 


Published May 10, 2016.. Case had been ongoing since 2012..


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