The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 25, 2023. This is a significant departure from the current Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition that went into effect on March 20, 2023. The Supreme Court ruling appears to loosen the definition of WOTUS, resulting in potentially fewer water bodies and aquatic resources that will be regulated under the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court ruled that waters regulated by the Clean Water Act must have a “continuous surface connection” to lakes and rivers that affect interstate commerce. Waters separated from lakes or rivers by human-made barriers are no longer regulated by the Clean Water Act based on this new ruling.
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