One of the most controversial and long-standing environmental issues deals with which waters are regulated under the Clean Water Act. For decades, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have tried major federal power grabs by defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in a vague and overbroad manner, seeking to regulate almost every water imaginable, and arguably regulating what most people would consider to be land. These power grabs have led to wide opposition from farmers and homebuilders to local governments. There is also significant confusion for property owners as to what is even regulated.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s first case of the new term, Sackett v. EPA, may provide clear and workable answers that are consistent with the Clean Water Act and the proper role of the federal government. Damien Schiff, lead counsel for the Sacketts, joins Heritage’s Daren Bakst in the leadup to oral arguments to discuss why this case is not only a critical environmental law case but also a critical case about private property rights and federalism.


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