(March 21,2012) The Idaho couple who had been ordered by the EPA to restore its property to its initial state or be fined $35k a day, has won their opportunity to have the case argued in court. The EPA, through “administrative order”, had determined the Sacketts in violation of the Clean Water Act, by developing their newly purchased property. The administrative order precludes any options for appeal. You must comply, or accrue daily fines. The EPA claimed it was part of a “wetland” and that the couple needed to cease all construction actions and return the property to its original state.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Sacketts, and they will now be able to appeal the order, or even work with the EPA on a compromise.
A north Idaho couple is still a long way from breaking ground. But Mike and Chantell Sackett have won the right to go to court over their property in Priest Lake, Idaho.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Sacketts can challenge a decision by federal regulators that their lot is in a protected wetland. The ruling was relatively narrow.
Mike and Chantell Sackett imagine a rustic, three-bedroom A-frame, with views of Priest Lake and the rugged landscape that surrounds it. But the EPA told them in 2007 that because their plot is designated as a wetland, they could face steep fines for building.