The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on May 31 that will allow the construction and development industries with a way to respond immediately to overly aggressive assertions by the federal government that the property they want to build contains jurisdic-tional “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). A “jurisdictional determination” (JD) significantly impacts how land may be used and dramatically raises the cost, and often reduces the feasibility, of constructing critical infrastructure. AGC submitted a joint “friend of the court” brief in the case, US Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., making a strong case for why it is vital for contractors to know with certainty whether their projects contain WOTUS.
AGC was the only trade association to advance the commercial construction industry’s interest in the outcome of this case and, once again, AGC has succeeded in changing facts on the ground. This decision will have a material impact on the way that the Section 404 permit program actually functions.