Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Clean Water Act Development Cases Draw U.S. High Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider limiting the federal government's power to protect the environment, agreeing to hear two appeals by developers who say regulators have been overzealous in applying the Clean Water Act.
The justices today in Washington said they will hear arguments from two sets of Michigan property owners seeking to build on their land. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked the projects, saying they would harm water quality and wildlife on protected wetlands.
The cases ask the court to decide whether the Clean Water Act, which gives permitting authority to the Corps, covers wetlands that aren't adjacent to a river or other navigable waterway. The justices also will decide whether Congress has power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to regulate those wetlands.The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Corps of Engineers in both disputes.The cases are Rapanos v. U.S., 04-1034, and Carabell v. Army Corps of Engineers, 04-1384. ......


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