UACES Facebook NALC’s Rollins to discuss impact of Sackett ruling on WOTUS in next installment of webinar series
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NALC’s Rollins to discuss impact of Sackett ruling on WOTUS in next installment of webinar series

The ruling in Sackett v. EPA removed a number of water bodies from regulation under the Clean Water Act. Following the ruling, EPA brought its definition of WOTUS more in line with the decision in Sackett.

By Tru Joi Curtis
National Agricultural Law Center
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Nov. 1, 2023

Fast facts:

  • Rollins to discuss the impact of the Sackett decision during Nov. 15 webinar.
  • Registration is online.

(480 words)

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — How redefining a single word in the “waters of the U.S.” rule might affect agriculture and what states are doing in reaction to the new WOTUS rule are among the topics being discussed in the next National Agriculture Law Center webinar, presented by Staff Attorney Brigit Rollins.

Photo of Brigit Rollins
Brigit Rollins, staff attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center, will discuss the state of WOTUS following the Sackett ruling during the NALC's Nov. 15 webinar.

The new WOTUS rule reduces the number of waters and wetlands that would require a permit for point source pollution or dredge and fill activity by redefining “adjacent.”

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the new rule in the wake of the Supreme Court’s May 25 ruling in Sackett v. EPA. EPA has stated that it will be interpreting the Clean Water Act term “waters of the United States” in a way that is consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Narrowing the definition

The new WOTUS rule removes many water bodies from regulation under the Clean Water Act, by narrowing the definition to include open, flowing bodies of water, as well as wetlands that share continuous surface connection with those bodies of water.

Prior to the Sackett decision, WOTUS defined “adjacent” as “bordering, contiguous, or neighboring.” In the updated rule, “adjacent” has been redefined as “having a continuous surface connection,” bringing it in line with the Sackett decision.

Rollins’ discussion is the third in her series on WOTUS. The “What’s Up with WOTUS: Post-Sackett and Beyond,” webinar will be held Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. Central/noon Eastern.

“The effects of EPA’s WOTUS decision will definitely be felt by ag producers,” Rollins said. “The narrowing of the WOTUS definition will reduce the number of permits that ag landowners and producers might have to seek out.”

The webinar is free of charge and registration is online.

“WOTUS is an ever-changing topic with new updates constantly,” Rollins said. “I am looking forward to helping everyone understand the impact of the Sackett ruling and what it means for the future of the WOTUS definition.”

The information for the first installment in Rollins’ series, “What’s Up with WOTUS: An Overview of ‘Waters of the United States’ and Why it Matters to Agriculture,” can be found online.

Information for the second installment, “What’s Up with WOTUS: A Look at the Current WOTUS Definition and recent Supreme Court Decision,” can also be found online.

“The Sackett ruling has had various rippling effects throughout the United States, so this information is extremely important,” NALC Director Harrison Pittman said. “Brigit’s expertise in this area has made these webinars informational and beneficial, so we are looking forward to the insight she will share during the presentation.”

For information about the National Agricultural Law Center, visit or follow @Nataglaw on X. The National Agricultural Law Center is also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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About the National Agricultural Law Center

The National Agricultural Law Center serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The NALC works with producers, state and federal policymakers, Congressional staffers, attorneys, land grant universities, and many others to provide objective, nonpartisan agricultural and food law research and information to the nation’s agricultural community.

The NALC is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and works in close partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Agricultural Library.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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Media contact:

Drew Viguet      
Communications & Special Projects Coordinator
National Agricultural Law Center