Washington, DC; February 28, 2024: Dan Ward—a landowner in Iowa—is appealing a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Act designation that blatantly violates the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA.

“The ‘stream’ that the Army Corps claims it has the power to regulate bears more resemblance to a hiking trail than a body of water,” said Charles Yates, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “The Corps seems to think that observing water trickling on one day, after a large rainstorm, magically transforms this unremarkable groove into a navigable water it can regulate under the Clean Water Act. It’s exactly the kind of thing the Supreme Court sought to end in Sackett, but the Corps hasn’t gotten the message.”

In Sackett, the Supreme Court made clear that only tributaries that are relatively permanent, continuously flowing bodies of water can be regulated under the Clean Water Act. The presence of water on one day, after a storm — as the Corps observed in this case — does not come close to meeting the standard set by the highest court in the land. 

The Army Corps’ lawless disregard for the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sackett is an affront to the Constitution and the separation of powers. Dan is appealing the Corps’ decision to make federal regulators follow the law.  

Mr. Ward’s case is one of two PLF cases that take on the EPA’s half-hearted attempt to comply with Sackett II. He joins Skip and Val Valentine, who are also embroiled in a lawsuit with the EPA over their property in North Carolina. 

The cases are Ward v. US Army Corps of Engineers and United States v. Melton E. “Val” Valentine, Jr., et al..

Documents

Ward v. US Army Corps of Engineers: Request for Appeal
Download
United States v. Valentine: Motion for Judgement on Pleadings
Download
about plf logo

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you are on deadline and need immediate assistance, or need a comment from a PLF attorney, please contact our media team at media@pacificlegal.org.