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Simpson Joins Amicus Brief to Fight Expansive WOTUS Authority in Idaho

Simpson Joins Amicus Brief to Fight Expansive WOTUS Authority in Idaho

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson recently joined 154 House colleagues in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Case Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, an Idaho case that could set forth the proper test for determining the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

“I have fought for years against expansive WOTUS overreach and supported former President Trump’s efforts to implement the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which responsibly outlines the jurisdiction of federal, state, and local authorities and appropriately respects states like Idaho,” said Simpson.  

“Litigation and unpredictability have been the result of the federal government’s attempt to regulate our nation’s navigable waterways for years.  The intention of the CWA was not to give EPA unchecked power to regulate every ditch, puddle, and stream in the United States. I will continue to work to ensure that Idaho’s property owners and agricultural communities are protected from federal intrusion and foster sustainable conservation efforts between federal, state, local, and private stakeholders.”

The brief reads, in part:

“Congress made clear its intent in legislative text, structure, and history to establish a limited federal regulatory presence in cooperation with the states. In the CWA, Congress selected language that, from practically the founding, was understood both to exercise limited jurisdiction and to preserve the states’ traditional role as the principal regulators of local waters and lands.”

“But this intent has now been turned on its head. Through the ‘significant nexus’ test, the EPA and Corps can instead use any ecological connection between land and nearby water as a pretext for intrusive central planning. This case presents an opportunity for the Court to finally put the genie back in the bottle and endorse the functionally equivalent test proposed by Justice Scalia. Only then will Congress’s dual purposes of cooperative federalism and environmental protection in the CWA be fully vindicated.” 

Click here to read the full text and signers of the amicus brief.