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SCOTUS Defines Waters of the United States

  • Jonathan Wood
  • Prairie Potholes © USFWS Mountain-Prairie

    PERC Vice President of Law and Policy Jonathan Wood joins the Your Mountain podcast to discuss the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA. The Sackett case involved a family in Idaho that has been unable to build a home on their property because the federal government claims their land falls under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The legal battle had dragged on for over 16 years.

    The ruling in Sackett v. EPA rejected the “significant nexus” test, which applied a vague and unhelpful definition of “navigable waters” regulated under the Clean Water Act. This lack of clarity over federal authority has led to significant conflict between landowners, conservationists, and regulators. 

    In the episode, Jonathan breaks down the decision and explains what it means for states, landowners, hunters, and conservationists, as well as how this new precedent will shape wetlands conservation going forward.

    Written By
    • Jonathan Wood
      • Vice President of Law & Policy

      Jonathan Wood is vice president of law and policy at PERC, leading PERC’s Conservation Law and Policy Center.

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