"U.S. EPA faced a hostile Supreme Court today as the agency defended its authority to issue compliance orders under the Clean Water Act without allowing an immediate hearing on the underlying issue."
"Justices from both ends of the political spectrum seemed to think that property owners should be able to contest administrative compliance orders that EPA issues when it believes a permit is required before a wetland is filled.
The case, Sackett v. EPA, arose when Mike and Chantell Sackett, from Priest Lake, Idaho, began earth-moving work on a plot of land just yards from scenic Priest Lake in 2007 (Greenwire, Sept. 19, 2011).
EPA then said the property was a wetland, meaning the site was subject to permitting requirements. The landowners were in violation after they placed fill material into wetlands, EPA said.
The compliance order prevented further construction work on the site and required the Sacketts to restore the wetlands."