NATIONAL NEWS

Supreme Court limits federal power over wetlands, boosts property rights over clean water

May 25, 2023, 7:36 AM

FILE - Michael and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho, pose for a photo in front of the Supreme...

FILE - Michael and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho, pose for a photo in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 14, 2011. The Supreme Court on Thursday, May 25, 2023, made it harder for the federal government to police water pollution in a decision that strips protections from wetlands that are isolated from larger bodies of water. The justices boosted property rights over concerns about clean water in a ruling in favor of an Idaho couple who sought to build a house near Priest Lake in the state’s panhandle. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday made it harder for the federal government to police water pollution in a decision that strips protections from wetlands that are isolated from larger bodies of water.

It’s the second decision in as many years in which a conservative majority of the court narrowed the reach of environmental regulations.

The justices boosted property rights over concerns about clean water in a ruling in favor of an Idaho couple who sought to build a house near Priest Lake in the state’s panhandle. They objected when federal officials identified a soggy portion of the property as a wetlands that required them to get a permit before building.

By a 5-4 vote, the court said that wetlands can only be regulated if they have a “continuous surface connection” to larger, regulated bodies of water.

The court jettisoned the 17-year-old opinion by their former colleague, Anthony Kennedy, that allowed regulation of wetlands that have a “significant nexus” to the larger waterways.

Environmental advocates had predicted that the narrowing the reach of the Clean Water Act would strip protections from more than half the wetlands in the country.

National News

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Man trying to drown 2 children on Connecticut beach is stopped by officers, police say

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man trying to drown two small children at a Connecticut beach early Saturday morning was thwarted by police officers, according to authorities. An officer spotted an SUV parked on a beach in West Haven at about 2:30 a.m. and heard “significant screaming” from the water as he approached. As […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate in Massachusetts passes bill curtailing use of plastics including bags, straws

BOSTON (AP) — The state Senate in Massachusetts has passed a wide-ranging bill curtailing the use of plastics, including barring the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies. The bill, approved Thursday, also bans carry-out plastic bags at retailers statewide and require stores to charge 10 cents for recycled paper bags. It also requires […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Helicopters scramble to rescue people in flooded Iowa town while much of US toils again in heat

The governor of Iowa sent helicopters to a small town to evacuate people from flooded homes Saturday, the result of weeks of rain, while much of the United States longed for relief from yet another round of extraordinary heat. Sirens blared at 2 a.m. in Rock Valley, Iowa, population 4,200, where people in hundreds of […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Husband of bride killed in alleged DUI crash on wedding night to receive nearly $1M in settlement

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The husband of a bride who was killed in a South Carolina beach road collision on her wedding night last year will receive nearly a million dollars in settlement connected to the crash, which a drunk driver allegedly caused. The Post and Courier reported that Aric Hutchinson will receive about […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

2 men convicted in 2021 armed standoff on Massachusetts highway

BOSTON (AP) — Two men have been convicted for their role in an armed standoff on a busy Massachusetts highway in 2021 that lasted more than eight hours and caused traffic delays during a busy Fourth of July weekend. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced Friday that Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer and Steven Anthony Perez […]

5 hours ago

Supreme Court limits federal power over wetlands, boosts property rights over clean water