U.S. lawmakers are telling the Supreme Court it needs to finally bring clarity to the “Waters of the U.S.” rule and end decades of confusion among farmers threatened with steep fines for disturbing wetlands – even questionable ones.
Central Illinois Republican Rodney Davis is among lawmakers filing a ‘friend of the court’ brief with the Supreme Court in the latest WOTUS case. Davis; “We legislators are very serious about making sure that the federal government, the EPA, in particular, does not think they can regulate every drainage ditch, every stream, and every river in America.”
Davis hopes a more conservative court will clearly define Clean Water Act ‘navigable waters,’ return to the states traditional areas of land regulation, and stop the Biden EPA from reversing Trump-era WOTUS reforms. “However, we need to codify our viewpoints on WOTUS into law. We shouldn’t have to, in Congress, rely upon the Supreme Court to possibly rein in regulatory overreach.”
Across Capitol Hill, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says; “We’ve written to the administration that they shouldn’t pursue their new effort to rescind the Trump WOTUS rules, which were more in line with the history of navigable rivers. Now, whether they’ll listen to us or not, I don’t know. But I joined the amicus brief because I wanted the court to know how I felt about protecting landowners from government regulation without due process.”
Or threatening steep fines on farmers and other landowners. The case is Sackett v. EPA, brought by Michael and Chantell Sackett of Idaho, over an EPA stop-work order on their residential property that the EPA claimed was a wetland.