Analyzing the Consequences of Sackett v. EPA and Looking Ahead to the Future

June 8, 2023 3:00 pm — 4:30 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Public Webinar

On May 25 the Supreme Court, ruling in Sackett v. EPA, sharply limited the scope of the federal Clean Water Act’s protection for the nation’s waters. The Court redefined the Act’s coverage of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which has been hotly contested since the Court’s previous 2006 decision in Rapanos v. United States. The majority opinion in Sackett states that the Act extends protection only to those waters that are described “in ordinary parlance” as “streams, oceans, rivers, and lakes,” and to wetlands only if those wetlands have a “continuous surface connection” to such waters “making it difficult to determine where the water ends and the wetland begins.” This decision removes protection from many wetlands that have been covered under the Act for almost a half century.

Join the Environmental Law Institute and expert panelists for a discussion analyzing the consequences of the Sackett v. EPA decision and looking ahead to what action can be taken to protect non-WOTUS waters. How can wetlands be protected from discharges of pollutants without federal Clean Water Act protection? What impacts will result from the CWA Section 404 permitting requirement no longer applying to wetlands without a continuous surface connection to other covered waters? What should the next steps be for states, tribes, and others in the field of environmental law? Experts will address these questions and so much more.

James M. McElfish, Jr.
, Senior Advisor, Research & Policy, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Jonathan H. Adler, Founding Director, Coleman P. Burke Center for Case Western Reserve University
Robin Craig, Packard Trustee Chair in Law, USC Gould School of Law
Rebecca L. Kihslinger, Senior Science and Policy Analyst, Environmental Law Institute  
Edward Ornstein, Special Counsel on Environmental Affairs, Miccosukee Tribe

ELI members will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted within three business days). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, please see the many benefits of membership and how to join.