| May 25, 2023
This morning, the Supreme Court announced the long-awaited Sackett decision. In the decision, the Court restricts the scope of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) over wetlands. The Court holds that, to be considered a WOTUS, a wetland must “indistinguishable” from a river, stream, or lake due to a “continuous surface connection.” This eliminates concerns over any – broader – test being used to identify a wetland as a WOTUS, such as identifying a “subsurface connection” that may be almost impossible to determine.
This is a step in the right direction for golf course management. GCSAA is continuing to review this decision as well as working with partners in the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) to analyze its impact and will provide updates as they are known.
WAC’s official statement:
Waters Advocacy Coalition, a broad cross-section of small businesses, farmers and job creators, released the following statement applauding the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that only wetlands adjoined to larger bodies of water are regulated by the Clean Water Act:
“The Supreme Court’s historic decision to define the limits of EPA authority under the Clean Water Act is a victory for private property owners across the country,” said Courtney Briggs, Waters Advocacy Coalition chairwoman. “The ruling preserves protections for our nation’s valuable water resources while delivering much-needed clarity to the process of determining federal jurisdiction over wetlands.
“The Court’s opinion also upends the Biden Administration’s overreaching WOTUS rule. After decades of attempts to expand the federal government’s power over private land, America’s job creators and farmers can proceed with more certainty in delivering critical services our economy depends on, from growing healthy foods to building affordable homes and producing domestic energy.”