Supreme Court rules against EPA

In a unanimous ruling this week, our country’s highest court overturned one of their earlier decisions regarding a contested habitat in Northern Idaho. The case, ongoing since 2007, involved a farmer who had back-filled a wetland the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated as “connected to waters of the United States.” The EPA considered it a violation of the Clean Water Act. The American Farm Bureau viewed the verdict as a big win for agriculture and landowners, as well as a reason for the government to re-visit wetland regulations. This will dramatically narrow the amount of land protected by the Waters of U.S law. Energy commodities and metals will also be affected, since mining and drilling in wetlands will probably increase because of reduced protections. Environmental groups emphasized the disappearance of wetlands—which are invaluable for flood control, pollution and erosion abatement, and supporting wildlife. More than half of U.S. wetlands have already been lost in the lower 48 states.

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