Supreme Court Affirms the Right to Judicial Review of EPA Compliance Orders


On March 21, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, a major victory for persons subjected to administrative "compliance orders" of the EPA, which the EPA had asserted allowed no right to judicial review. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that property owners who had received, without prior hearing, a compliance order under §309 of the Clean Water Act have the right to bring a civil action challenging the order in federal district court under the Administrative Procedure Act.

The case was brought by Michael and Chantell Sackett, owners of a residential lot in Bonner County, Idaho. In preparation for building a house, the landowners filled in part of their lot with dirt and rock. Some months later they received the compliance order from the EPA ordering them to immediately undertake activities to restore the homesite in accordance with a Restoration Work Plan created by the EPA, and further to provide access to the site and to documentation related to the site to EPA employees and their designated representatives. Violation of the compliance order potentially subjected the property owners to fines up to $75,000 per day.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jackson Walker | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Jackson Walker on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.