Wetlands Planning Services


Services to navigate Supreme Court Waters of the U.S. ruling

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.

What this means:

  • The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will interpret the phrase “waters of the United States” consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA.
  • USACE has put a hold on the issuance of Approved Jurisdictional Determinations until it develops new guidance and implementation.
  • Preliminary Jurisdictional Determinations are still being processed by most USACE districts. However, some districts have also placed Preliminary Jurisdictional Determinations on hold for now.
  • Following interpretation, the agencies will develop rules and guidance. We currently do not have a timeline for implementation from the USACE, but we will continue to provide information and assistance.

How we can help:

Our nationwide network of environmental planning experts is ready to guide you through this confusing process by:

  • Reviewing your existing projects to determine the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  • Reevaluating WOTUS on your site consistent with the known forthcoming changes as related to jurisdiction, permitting, and mitigation.

Terracon’s national footprint and depth of environmental planning expertise across the country can keep you informed of the imminent rule changes from this Supreme Court ruling.

Put our expertise to work for you. Contact us to get started!

Wetlands services contact

For more information on our services, please contact

Jeremy Hanzlik, P.E.

National Manager, Environmental Planning
(210) 714-2148


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