Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Supreme Court gives property owners right to challenge EPA wetlands order
The Supreme Court has sided with an Idaho couple in a property rights case, ruling they can go to court to challenge an Environmental Protection Agency order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day. Wednesday’s decision is a victory for Mike and Chantell Sackett, whose property near a scenic lake has sat undisturbed since the EPA ordered a halt in work in 2007. The agency said part of the property was a wetlands that could not disturbed without a permit. n an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA’s argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency’s ability to deal with water pollution. “Compliance orders will remain an effective means of securing prompt voluntary compliance in those many cases where there is no substantial basis to question their validity,” Scalia said. In this case, the couple objected to the determination that their small lot contained wetlands that are regulated by the Clean Water Act, and they complained there was no reasonable way to challenge the order without risking fines that can mount quickly...more