Murkowski: Supreme Court Decision Provides for Review of EPA Compliance Orders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision upholding the right of land owners to have a court review attempts to regulate use of their private property by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The Sacketts’ story exemplifies the impact of EPA overreach on the personal property rights of Americans,” Murkowski said. “Today is a good day for the rule of law and a validation not only of the concerns voiced by so many that EPA has overstepped its authorities but the idea that Congress should act as well.”

The EPA had asserted that its issuance of a so-called compliance order under the Clean Water Act was unreviewable by the courts. The justices unanimously rejected this claim. 

Murkowski stated, regarding what the Sacketts have endured, that “Justice Alito pretty much summed it up for me when he wrote that, ‘In a nation that values due process, not to mention private property, such treatment is unthinkable.’”

The court’s decision applies narrowly to the Sacketts’ ability to seek judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act, and does not resolve the larger question of how broadly the Clean Water Act can or should be interpreted by the EPA.

“While the Sacketts won an important victory today, we have a long way to go before EPA’s regulatory overreaching is stopped,” Murkowski said. “Congress should fix this particular problem by clarifying what is and is not subject to the Clean Water Act. In the meantime, EPA should administer the statute in a way that protects Americans rather than making them victims of bureaucratic abuse.”