The Supreme Court recently kicked off this term with oral arguments in Sackett v. EPA, a blockbuster environmental law case that could provide property owners with long-overdue clarity regarding the enjoyment of their land.
To understand the facts of the controversy is to sympathize with the petitioners. In 2004, Chantell and Mike Sackett purchased a 0.63-acre vacant lot near Priest Lake, Idaho, with the intention of building their family home. After obtaining all necessary local permits, the Sacketts began construction. But shortly after starting preliminary earthmoving activities, government officials entered the lot and said to the Sacketts’ construction workers that the homesite contained “wetlands” subject to federal regulation as “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.
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