SCOTUS: It’s legal for private citizens to sue the EPA.
WASHINGTON â€“ The Supreme Court has come forcefully down on the side of an Idaho couple in its fight against the Environmental Protection Agency, unanimously ruling Wednesday that the couple can challenge an EPA order to stop construction of their home on property designated a wetland.
Mike and Chantell Sackett bought their land near a scenic lake for $25,000, but when they decided to build a property there in 2007, the EPA ordered a halt, saying the Clean Water Act requires that wetlands not be disturbed without a permit.
They’ve been fighting for the right to challenge the decision in court for several years, and facing millions of dollars in fines over the land.
The couple complained there was no reasonable way to challenge the order, and noted they don’t know why the EPA concluded there are wetlands on their lot, which is surrounded by a residential neighborhood with sewer lines and homes.
In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court ruled the EPA cannot impose fines that could be as much as $75,000 a day without giving property owners the ability to challenge its actions.
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"SCOTUS To EPA: Citizens DO Have Rights And CAN Sue You"