Date Filed: April 28, 2016
Original Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Case Status: Pending
This case seeks to ensure that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not exceed its authority to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act. After subjecting the property owner to seven years of administrative proceedings, the Corps made a finding that certain Illinois farmland constituted wetlands subject to strict, expensive regulation under the Clean Water Act. The owner, who wishes to build residential housing on the land, sued in federal court in Chicago to vacate the finding because it was made in violation of the Corps’ own regulations exempting prior converted cropland from Clean Water Act jurisdiction. The issue is important to farmers and developers nationwide, because the Corps is aggressively asserting jurisdiction over dry-land farms and development sites throughout the nation – areas that Congress never intended to be regulated under the Clean Water Act.