The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Thursday in a case related to the agency’s “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” or WOTUS for short, limiting the EPA’s ability to restrict private property owners from developing on their own land.
The opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, stated that the EPA’s interpretation of wetlands and “navigable waters” covered by the Clean Water Act of 1972 was inconsistent with the law’s text and structure. It went on to say that the law extends only to “wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies of water that are ‘waters of the United States’ in their own right.”
Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Thursday applauding the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“The Court’s ruling provides long-awaited relief and much-needed clarity for millions of small businesses and landowners on the limits of the federal government’s power over ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS),” McConnell said in his statement.
“Under the Biden Administration, revised WOTUS regulations have presented new and costlier burdens for farmers, ranchers, builders, and families across rural America,” the statement continued.