Limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect wetlands

Pretty good article on the environment and SCOTUS saying its ok to obliterate a wetland for a house. Except Alito suggests we should do more!

Brett Kavanaugh: Supreme Court EPA Ruling Could Risk Water Quality, businessinsider, Kelsey Vlamis

“the majority was ignoring precedent and jeopardizing water quality in the US.” Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday undercuts the EPA’s authority to regulate under the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect wetlands and address water pollution.”

Perhaps a glass of water for them as one movie scene portrayed?

The case? A couple in Idaho wanted to build a home on their property, but the EPA determined the land included wetlands that were protected under the Clean Water Act, subjecting it to the agency’s oversight. I am not sure how close the home was to the wetlands. In Michigan, we had setbacks. You could not build at the edge of river or wetland. Neither could you trash the groundcover. My memory suggests the setback was a minimum of fifty feet.

Led by Alito, the majority ruling determined the Clean Water Act does not have the authority to regulate wetlands unless they have a “a continuous surface connection” to larger bodies of water. This ruling could exclude wetlands, bogs, and marshes that are adjacent to a body of water if not exactly connected on the surface, and that have been previously considered protected and also connected at one time. This is haphazard thinking. At times these lands are over flows for streams, rivers, and lakes after Winter and on into Spring.

 Environmental groups and experts estimate the decision could remove protections for nearly half of all wetlands in the US.

Justice Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion, signed on to by the liberal justices states . . . “the majority’s new test for assessing when wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act is contrary to the law, departs from decades of agency practice, and contradicts precedent set by the Supreme Court itself.” It is aso what I know to be true. “You do not screw with wetlands, marshes, streams, or rivers. The former are the filtering devices for water runoff. These are also the nesting areas for Sand Cranes, Herons, and a host of other birds combatting the insect population.

Besides joining Kavanaugh, liberal justices also signed a concurring opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan raising concerns the Supreme Court is overriding Congress’s authority when it comes to environmental policy. She cited a ruling last year limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases and address climate change.

Justice Clarence Thomas suggests he would be interested in curbing the EPA’s authority even further. “Wetlands are just the beginning of the problems raised by the agencies’ assertion of jurisdiction in this case.”

Maybe Clarence knows a bit more about wetlands, etc. than he does ethical behavior.