BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET)–State leaders in North Dakota are praising a recent Supreme Court ruling which gives more clarity to farmers and ranchers in the state.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Environmental Protection Agency went too far in a case against Michael and Chantell Sackett from Idaho. The couple began backfilling their property to begin building a home nearly 20 years ago, but the EPA said that because the Sackett’s property contained a wetland, the move violated the Clean Water Act. The organization also threatened the couple with fines of over $40,000 per day. North Dakota was one of 24 states joining a lawsuit against the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeking to declare the Waters of the US rule unlawful.
“And you can get somebody to stick with it,” said ND Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring, “they’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court like this one. It’s the only way to actually show the federal government, ‘No, you don’t get to do that. There is federalism. There are states’ rights’.”
On page 3 of his opinion in the case, Justice Samuel Alito states that ‘The clean water act is a potent weapon. It imposes what have been described as “crushing” consequences “even for inadvertent violations.”’