chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.


Professors' Corner—SCOTUS on Waters of the United States (WOTUS): What Sackett v. EPA Means for Water Rights and Resources

Dana Neacsu, Dave Owen, Shannon M Roesler, and Burke W Griggs

Since 1972, the Clean Waters Act has authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to track and respond to pollution of the navigable "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS). Since the 1980s, the US Army Corps of Engineers have defined WOTUS as including wetlands adjacent to waters. In 2023, the US Supreme Court in Sackett v. EPA turned away from forty years of an expansive definition of WOTUS and reversed the Ninth Circuit to hold that WOTUS only includes bodies of water that have a "continuous surface connection" to key lakes and rivers affecting interstate commerce. Now, over 59 million acres of wetlands previously treated as part of WOTUS are excluded from the definition.

The content of this program does not meet requirements for continuing legal education (CLE) accreditation. You will not receive CLE credit for this program.