Idaho landowners to get high court hearing

AP News
Posted: Jun 28, 2011 10:59 AM
Idaho landowners to get high court hearing

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the rights of landowners when confronted with an order from the Environmental Protection Agency that they are violating the federal Clean Water Act.

The justices on Tuesday added the case of Idaho property owners Chantell and Michael Sackett to their lineup for the term that begins in October. The Sacketts contend that EPA left them with no practical way to object to the agency's determination that work on their half-acre parcel violated federal law and tried to coerce their compliance through the threat of costly fines.

The Sacketts say they would either have to apply for a federal permit that could cost as much as the property itself, or wait for the EPA to go to court to force them to comply.