EPA administrator deeply disappointed in SCOTUS ruling

The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency says he’s deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sackett v. EPA. 

During a call with reporters on Thursday, Michael Regan said he is going to have to take a closer look at what the decision will mean for the agency.  “We know that wetlands are nature’s water filters and we know that many of our coal communities and many of our communities rely significantly on wetlands to reduce pollution, to reduce runoff so that we can have good quality drinking water.

In his opinion, Court Justice Samuel Alito said the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act went too far and the it extends to only the wetlands with a continuous surface connection to the bodies that are ‘waters of the United States’.  

Regan says, “But let me be clear, we’re going to continue to work as hard as we can to follow the law, but also to protect all communities.”

The court unanimously reversed and remanded the decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but was split, 5-4, on the proper test to determine what qualifies as jurisdictional.  

Ted McKinney, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture says the organization is relieved by the court’s decision, but there is still work to be done.  He says the association will continue to work with the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to update and implement a regulatory framework that better reflects the needs of state ag departments and America’s farmers and ranchers.  

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