An analysis from the National Agricultural Law Center:
On May 25, 2023, the United States Supreme Court released their highly-anticipated opinion in Sackett v. EPA, U.S. (2023), a lawsuit concerning the scope of wetlands jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The decision comes months after the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a new definition of the key CWA term “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) which determines which waterbodies receive CWA protection. The degree to which wetlands should be protected under the CWA has been a challenge for policymakers since the Act was first passed in 1972. This latest decision from the Court is intended to clarify when wetlands may be considered a water of the United States.
For an overview of WOTUS rulemaking, prior Supreme Court decisions, results of Sackett v. EPA, and the current unresolved litigation, please click here: WOTUS Update: U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Wetlands Jurisdiction Under the CWA - National Agricultural Law Center (nationalaglawcenter.org).