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Hawkeye2j
03-22-2012, 10:58 PM
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that landowners can bring a suit directly against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] challenging the agency's order not to build on residential property that is protected wetlands. This case gives citizens the right, under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) [text], to sue the EPA before the agency enforces the order. The decision, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, allows Idaho landowners to challenge the EPA's order under the Clean Water Act (CWA) [text, PDF] to stop development on a parcel of property designated as wetlands. The Supreme Court overturned the lower court's ruling that the Idaho couple had to wait for a court review at the option of the EPA before challenging the order. The opinion reads:
The APA's presumption of judicial review is a repudiation of the principle that efficiency of regulation conquers all. And there is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of opportunity for judicial review—even judicial review of the question whether the regulated party is within the EPA's jurisdiction. Compliance orders will remain an effective means of securing prompt voluntary compliance in those many cases where there is no substantial basis to question their validity.
The court did not indicate whether the plaintiffs could win their case against the EPA, but merely ruled that they had the right to sue.
The Sacketts own land near Priest Lake, Idaho, on which they intended to build a house. After purchasing the property and obtaining local permits, they began to grade the land for construction of a house. They received an EPA Administrative Compliance Order that said the grading of the land was in violation of the CWA and imposed harsh civil penalties for non-compliance. The Sacketts disagree that their property is a wetland under the meaning of the CWA. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had upheld [opinion, PDF] the dismissal of their suit.

http://jurist.org/paperchase/

doctordog
03-22-2012, 11:24 PM
This was a great ruling for the people versus an uncontrolled government entity.

Hawkeye2j
03-22-2012, 11:26 PM
This was a great ruling for the people versus an uncontrolled government entity.
I agree

Bruce LeeRoy
03-23-2012, 12:20 AM
WOW, you two agree?

I'll mark my calendar. :lmao2:


I also agree, the Govt is out of control. Its very much a bi-partisan attack too.

Doublejack
03-23-2012, 01:34 AM
me three.

While I do see the importance of the EPA I've got some serious issues with these wetland laws.

Cookie Parker
03-23-2012, 04:29 AM
I don't agree. I think this will have serious consequences...just don't whine when he house sinks and expect the government to reimburse you.

Hawkeye2j
03-23-2012, 08:09 AM
I don't agree. I think this will have serious consequences...just don't whine when he house sinks and expect the government to reimburse you.
No agency should be free of challenge. That is how corruption sinks in.

merrill
03-23-2012, 10:09 AM
This decision just removed one more unit of protection from consumers.

The whole idea of building anything in a wetlands/flood zone is absurd. Yes developers will build and claim that all homes or whatever are protected from flooding in a wetlands.

People are becoming dumber by the minute.

merrill
03-23-2012, 10:39 AM
The wonderful aspect of wetlands is they save taxpayers trillions of $$$ controlling flood water that most man made projects fail to do.

Most man made projects fail to do because they cannot project exactly what mother nature will do. Meanwhile wetlands continue to do so at no expense to the taxpayers.

Of course wetlands become wildlife sanctuaries and tourist attractions = naturally occurring tax dollar revenue for states. Quite interesting places to visit for the whole family.

Doublejack
03-23-2012, 12:16 PM
This decision just removed one more unit of protection from consumers.

The whole idea of building anything in a wetlands/flood zone is absurd. Yes developers will build and claim that all homes or whatever are protected from flooding in a wetlands.

People are becoming dumber by the minute.


Well obviously building in marshlands or flood zone would be dumb but were talking "wetlands". All it takes up here in WA state is if a simple type of plant is growing and blammo.. wetland buffer zones that can render a piece of property useless.

I have a buddy who bought an empty lot right on a nice small lake. Used up his life savings on this project. Union worker, do-it-yourself type guy. Started developing the property and had all his permits.

After trenching for his power/sewer his kids begged him to dig a small trench from the ditch off the main road to fill up a small moat around their "fort".

Fast forward a couple months : A couple small plants and a few little tiny fishies were in his newly made trench. BAM rezoned wetlands.

Permits revoked. Property worthless. Now he lives in a trailer park and cant sell the small lot.

This is not a flood zone or a salmon spawning stream. I see your point of view and do agree however there are many circumstances where the EPA can be far too reaching.

I devloped a lot of land with my father and have seen a ton of similair situations.

merrill
03-23-2012, 12:24 PM
Wetlands are natural occurring low lying areas where the water flows and has been long before you and I were put on the planet.

Too many developers have ethical problems.

Why screw up a wetlands so taxpayers can be forced to replace a perfect working flood control with trllions of $$$ worth of man made projects that cost more money for ever?

Doublejack
03-23-2012, 01:26 PM
Wetlands are natural occurring low lying areas where the water flows and has been long before you and I were put on the planet.

No. Naturally has nothing to do with it. Thats the problem. Another story, my dad has a 40 acre lot. A neighbor a few lots down blocked a natural run-off and water backed up into my dads property. Again, a certain type of plant started to grow and his property was rezoned wetlands. Worthless now. No compensation. Not natural.


Too many developers have ethical problems.


Why screw up a wetlands so taxpayers can be forced to replace a perfect working flood control with trllions of $$$ worth of man made projects that cost more money for ever?


You're talking commercial there I take it. I'm talking more about small private properties. Just looking for a happy medium.

merrill
03-23-2012, 01:54 PM
No. Naturally has nothing to do with it. Thats the problem. Another story, my dad has a 40 acre lot. A neighbor a few lots down blocked a natural run-off and water backed up into my dads property. Again, a certain type of plant started to grow and his property was rezoned wetlands. Worthless now. No compensation. Not natural.



You're talking commercial there I take it. I'm talking more about small private properties. Just looking for a happy medium.


I'm talking new development across the board. Wetlands are areas that have been so for many many many years.

New developments can create flood zones quite easily.

merrill
03-23-2012, 01:56 PM
Wetlands Definitions

Generally, wetlands are lands where saturation with water is the dominant factor determining the nature of soil development and the types of plant and animal communities living in the soil and on its surface (Cowardin, December 1979).

Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance. Indeed, wetlands are found from the tundra to the tropics and on every continent except Antarctica.

For regulatory purposes under the Clean Water Act, the term wetlands means "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.

Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas."


http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/definitions.cfm

Doublejack
03-23-2012, 02:34 PM
I'm talking new development across the board. Wetlands are areas that have been so for many many many years.

New developments can create flood zones quite easily.


The problem is the laws are generally too vague and do not compensate or take into account man made or accidental/minor issues that specifically target small private property owners.

Those large complex contractors never have problems building huge neigborhoods by filling in marshlands with thousands of yards of fill or clear cutting a couple hundred acres of forest land. Those situations are vastly more destructive to the environment than some guy with a few plants growing on his property.

Darmosiel
03-24-2012, 05:17 PM
me three.

While I do see the importance of the EPA I've got some serious issues with these wetland laws.

That's because you don't understand the importance of wetlands on the ecosystem and how they help in restoring clean water into aquifers.

http://environment.about.com/od/environmentallawpolicy/a/wetlands_protec.htm

The Ecological Importance of Wetlands

Beyond definitions, wetlands are essential ecological features in any landscape. They are primary habitat for hundreds of species of waterfowl as well as many other birds, fish, mammals and insects.

Wetlands naturally filter and recharge the water that later comes out of our faucets downstream. They act like giant sponges, slowing the flow of surface water and reducing the impact of flooding.

Wetlands also prevent soil erosion, and they buffer water bodies from potentially damaging land use activities such as agriculture. And wetlands can remove and store greenhouse gases from the Earth’s atmosphere, slowing the onset of global warming.

More than half of the original 221 million acres of wetlands that existed in the continental U.S. at the time of white settlement were destroyed by the 1980s. The story has been much the same in Canada, with analysts estimating between a 30 and 70 percent of that country’s wetlands lost during the same period.

Billions Spent to Protect and Recover Wetlands
Recognizing the importance of waterfowl and wetlands to North Americans and the need for international cooperation to help in the recovery of this shared resource, U.S. and Canada developed and signed the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in 1986. Mexico joined in 1993. The three countries have since spent $4.5 billion protecting some 15 million acres of wetlands in jeopardy across the continent.

All three governments have instituted complex regulations whereby developers wanting to fill in wetlands must make a case to justify their project. In many cases builders must create new wetlands elsewhere to “mitigate” losses, though most scientists do not consider man-made wetlands to be ecologically sound.

Bush Promised Wetlands Protection, Relaxed Regulations Instead
Wetlands protection issues landed on the national political stage in the U.S. during the 1988 presidential race, when candidate George H.W. Bush promised that under his watch there would be “no net loss” of wetlands.

However, when the dust cleared after the election, developers pressured the new Bush White House to ease its stance and raise the number of days a piece of land needed to be under water (from seven to 15 per year) to qualify for protection. This allowed developers to build on new tracts of wetlands that were previously off-limits.

Doublejack
03-24-2012, 07:59 PM
That's because you don't understand the importance of wetlands on the ecosystem and how they help in restoring clean water into aquifers.


Of course I do. Which is why my posts are only about small private property development.

Darmosiel
03-24-2012, 10:38 PM
Of course I do. Which is why my posts are only about small private property development.

I understand why you are taking this personally since someone in the family has property they either want to fill or develop.

The law pertaining to wetlands came about because large tracts of wetlands were purchased and filled in for malls, tract housing, etc. and it was felt wetlands needed to be protected and preserved. Filling in wetlands destroys the previous habitat for the various kinds of life that existed there previously.

Now I see ducks and other water birds struggling to survive in drainage pools where wetlands used to be.

It's unfortunate your family has a wetland area since you don't seem to value it. Perhaps you can sell it to a nature conservancy or someone that does.

Doublejack
03-24-2012, 11:52 PM
I understand why you are taking this personally since someone in the family has property they either want to fill or develop.

The law pertaining to wetlands came about because large tracts of wetlands were purchased and filled in for malls, tract housing, etc. and it was felt wetlands needed to be protected and preserved. Filling in wetlands destroys the previous habitat for the various kinds of life that existed there previously.

Now I see ducks and other water birds struggling to survive in drainage pools where wetlands used to be.

It's unfortunate your family has a wetland area since you don't seem to value it. Perhaps you can sell it to a nature conservancy or someone that does.


I agree with everything you said although it has nothing to do with what I'm failing to explain.