"Justices Allow Challenge to E.P.A. Control of Wetlands"

"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that an Idaho couple had the right to file an immediate court challenge to a federal Environmental Protection Agency decision designating their property as wetlands and forbidding them from building a home there."

"The ruling was drawn narrowly around the issue of judicial review rather than the larger question of the E.P.A.’s jurisdiction over wetlands. Nonetheless, property-rights advocates hailed it as a victory for individual freedoms over governmental authority.

For years, the E.P.A. has invoked its authority under the Clean Water Act to issue so-called compliance orders declaring a site to be a wetland and requiring owners to stop construction or to restore the land. Property owners could not seek judicial review of these orders without taking other administrative steps like applying for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to build on a wetland."

Felicity Barringer reports for the New York Times March 22, 2012.

Source: NY Times, 03/22/2012