Video: President Obama’s Clean Water Act Power Grab

by William Yeatman on January 12, 2012

in Blog

Federal agencies are increasingly defining dry land as “wetlands” and “waters of the United States” based on sweepingly expansive interpretations of the Clean Water Act.  They then send compliance orders to property owners, restricting use of their property. The test for what is a wetland has become so vague that owners often cannot figure out the status of their property without a court ruling.  But the government claims that courts cannot decide this issue unless the owners first go through lengthy permit proceedings or unless they’ve been hit with potentially ruinous enforcement proceedings.

The government’s claim is now being contested in a case before the Supreme Court. In Sackett v. EPA case, landowners Mike and Chantell Sackett hoped to build a home on their half-acre lot in the Priest Lake area of Idaho’s Panhandle, but four years later found themselves in an unexpected legal battle with EPA.  The agency claimed the property was a wetland even though it was in a residential neighborhood with houses on either side of it.  EPA told the couple they would have to return the property to its original state and seek a costly development permit, or else be slapped with a fine in the tens of thousands of dollars.  What’s more, the agency refused to grant the Sacketts a hearing on its ruling.

For a primer on the President’s Clean Water Act power grab, click here.

To read CEI’s amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow property owners to promptly contest federal agency directives imposing wetland restrictions on private land, click here.

Two nights ago on Glen Beck TV, CEI’s Chris Horner discussed the case. See video of his appearance below.

Shelley January 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

You do realize that the EPA moved against the Sacketts while George Bush was in office, don’t you?

And that the Clean Water Act was passed and signed into law by Richard Nixon, don’t you?

So, which President are you referring to?

Shelley January 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

Oops, sorry clarification:

Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act, but his veto was overridden by both the Senate and the House. Overridden by both Republicans and Democrats.

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