Supreme Court Rules that District Courts Have Jurisdiction over WOTUS Rule Litigation

On Jan. 22, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision regarding which federal courts have jurisdiction to hear challenges to the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The WOTUS rule, which defines the scope of waters protected under the federal Clean Water Act, is a joint rulemaking by the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Supreme Court found that appeals of this rule must be brought in to the federal district courts rather than circuit courts ─ a decision that will finally allow litigation over the rule to move forward.

“The real concern we have with the delay of an update to the WOTUS definition is that the uncertainties associated with the existing regulations will continue to cause unnecessary confusion for permit applicants,” said Vince Messerly, President of Stream + Wetlands Foundation.  “Hopefully, a reasonable WOTUS definition can be achieved soon to help improve predictability for permit applicants and the regulatory agencies.”

To find out more about this recent ruling and its implications on the WOTUS rule, click here.