What is a water of the United States? More specifically, what is the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act? The Supreme Court opined on these questions in their May 2023 decision on the case, Sackett vs. EPA. This decision has inspired much controversy, with some seeing it as appropriate judicial restraint on overreaching bureaucracies, and other seeing it as an intrusion by the judiciary into the legislative process and a judicial overreach in the face of decades of precedent. All agree it was a momentous case whose effects will be felt for many years.

The Sabin Center is pleased to announce Clean Water After Sackett: A Symposium on the Legal, Policy & Conservation Implications of Sackett v. EPA. The symposium will consist of three panels. The first panel will be on state water quality policies; the second will be on ecosystems and land conservation; and the third will be a legal discussion on the Sackett decision itself. We will also hear from Elizabeth Biser, North Carolina Secretary of Environmental Quality.

Speakers and Schedule

  • 8:45 – Introduction
      • Stan Meiburg, Executive Director, Andrew Sabin Family Center for Environment and Sustainability, Wake Forest University
  • 9:00 – Panel 1: North Carolina State Water Quality Policies
      • Keith Larick, Natural Resources Director, NC Farm Bureau Federation
      • Grady McCallie, NC Conservation Network
      • Edgar Miller, Yadkin Riverkeeper
      • Robin Smith, Chair, NC Environmental Management Commission
      • Moderator: Stan Meiburg, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Environment and Sustainability, Wake Forest University
  • 10:15  – Break
  • 10:30 – Panel 2: Ecosystems and Land Conservation
      • Ray Clark, River Crossing Strategies
      • Bill Holman, NC State Director, The Conservation Fund
      • Carolyn Ward, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
      • Reid Wilson, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
      • Moderator: Ken Bridle, Ph.D., Conservation Adviser and Inventory Biologist, Piedmont Land Conservancy
  • 11:45 – Lunch
  • 12:30 – Speaker: Elizabeth Biser, Secretary, NC Department of Environmental Quality
  • 1:30 – Panel 3: The Sackett Decision from a Legal Perspective
      • Susan Bodine, Earth and Water Law
      • Robin Craig, University of Southern California
      • Phillip Mancusi-Ungaro, retired Senior Counsel, U.S. EPA Region 4
      • Kelly Moser, Senior Attorney and Leader of the Clean Water Program, SELC
      • Moderator: Scott Schang, Professor of Practice and Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • 2:45 – Wrap Up and Conclusions

We hope you can join us! Please register here.