Iowa Farmer Challenges Army Corps Over Dry Ditch Jurisdiction Post-Sackett Ruling

Landowner challenges Army Corps' jurisdiction over dry ditch, citing Sackett v. EPA ruling that limits federal control over 'waters of the US.' Outcome could impact property rights and Clean Water Act's reach.

Geeta Pillai
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Iowa Farmer Challenges Army Corps Over Dry Ditch Jurisdiction Post-Sackett Ruling

Iowa Farmer Challenges Army Corps Over Dry Ditch Jurisdiction Post-Sackett Ruling

Dan Ward, an Iowa landowner, has filed a regulatory appeal with the Army Corps of Engineers, challenging the agency's jurisdiction over a dry ditch on his 420-acre farm. The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Sackett v. EPA, which limited the federal government's control over 'waters of the United States.'

Following the Sackett ruling, Ward believed the Corps no longer had authority over the dry ditch on his property. However, after initially indicating they might lose jurisdiction, the Corps later claimed they had been given additional tools by the EPA to reassert control over the dry ditch.

Ward argues that the government is overreaching and disregarding the Supreme Court's decision. He wants to build a 9-acre pond on his land but is being prevented from doing so due to the Corps' claim that the dry ditch falls under their jurisdiction, despite being over 100 miles from the nearest navigable river.

Why this matters: The case highlights the ongoing tension between private property rights and federal environmental regulations in the aftermath of the Sackett v. EPA ruling. The outcome could have significant implications for landowners and the scope of the Clean Water Act's reach.

In his regulatory appeal, Ward asserts that the Army Corps is disregarding the clear intent of the Supreme Court to limit federal overreach and respect the rights of private property owners. "The government is trying to find any way they can to maintain control, even when the Supreme Court has told them to back off," Ward stated. The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet commented on the specific details of Ward's appeal.

Key Takeaways

  • Iowa landowner files appeal challenging Army Corps' jurisdiction over dry ditch
  • Follows Supreme Court's Sackett v. EPA ruling limiting federal 'waters of US' control
  • Landowner wants to build pond but is prevented due to Corps' claim of jurisdiction
  • Case highlights tension between property rights and environmental regulations
  • Landowner argues Corps disregards Supreme Court's intent to limit federal overreach