Sackett decision – impacts wetland protections under the Clean Water Act

Sackett decision: In a giveaway to big polluters and developers, the Supreme Court ignores the Clean Water Act

In a giveaway to big polluters and developers, the Supreme Court ruled on May 25 that the Clean Water Act does not apply to a majority of the nation’s wetlands. In announcing its decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which concerns which types of wetlands are protected from pollution, the Court has drastically narrowed the scope of the Clean Water Act by eliminating protections for wetlands except in extreme, limited circumstances.

“Today the Court has eliminated protections for a vital link of our waterways, with no consideration of wetlands’ essential role in protecting our drinking water, dispersing floodwaters and providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Jared Mott, Conservation Director for the Izaak Walton League of America.

“In doing so, the Court went out of its way to ignore the plain language of the Clean Water Act that clearly articulates congressional intent to protect wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters like rivers and streams. This ruling defies science, the law and common sense by simply pretending that waters deemed ‘navigable’ cannot be impacted by pollution in adjacent wetlands.”

The League calls on Congress and state governments to act quickly to prevent harmful pollution from entering the nation’s waterways that feed into the streams, rivers and lakes that Americans depend on for drinking water and outdoor recreation.