(Missourinet) – Missouri’s agriculture industry is celebrating Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limits the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate waterways.
In a 5 to 4 decision, the High Court created a new definition for which wetlands can be regulated by the EPA. They must have “a continuous surface connection” to bodies of water that were already regulated by the federal government. Missouri Farm Bureau President Garret Hawkins says more legislative work could be done to address WOTUS:
“The Supreme Court was very clear in saying if the intent of Congress is to usurp state authority and pull more authority to the Feds, then they need to make it abundantly clear by revising the Clean Water Act. The supreme court recognizes the role of states in regulating land and water use.”
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, unanimously ruled that an Idaho couple had NOT violated the Clean Water Act when they began building a house near a lake, which involved backfilling their lot with soil and gravel. The EPA told the couple that their lot was a federally-protected wetland and threatened to fine them $40,000 a day unless they restored the site.