Case Study: The Sackett v. the EPA

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Case Study Supreme Court case Sackett vs. EPA

The Sackett verses the EPA was a very interesting case in more ways than one. The case starts in a residential area near Priest Lake, Idaho with the Sacketts filling in their 1 ½ acre of land with rock and dirt in preparation to start building a home on the property. On November 26, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a compliance order against the Sacketts. The compliance order alleged that the parcel is a wetland subject to the Clean Water Act and that the Sacketts violated the CWA by filling in their property without first obtaining a permit. The order required the Sacketts to remove the fill material and restore the parcel to its original condition. What is so interesting is that the EPA charged the Sacketts with CWA and the daily charged was $37,500.00 a day for everyday they did not comply with the compliance order and it doubled to and outrageous $75,000.00 a day. The problem was the Sacketts had no way to legally appeal the alleged allegation of the CWA. The Sacketts filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. They challenged the compliance order as (1) arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act; (2) issued without a hearing in violation of the Sacketts' procedural due process rights; and (3) issued on the basis of an "any information available" standard that is unconstitutionally vague. . What was disturbing after listening to trial was the Federal Courts described the alleged allegation stating the property was passable by boat and that was the justification of the water way act. Obviously the Corps of Engineers had not been out to the property because there were four homes built between Lake Priest and the Sacketts property and I see no way that a boat was going...
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