Lucas v. United States (Scope of Navigable Waters)


U.S. Supreme Court

NAHB Involvement


This case involves developers that allegedly filled jurisdictional wetlands to create a neighborhood and then placed septic systems in those filled wetlands. Many of the septic systems failed. The Department of Justice brought suit against the three defendants for filling wetlands without a CWA section 404 permit and for discharging pollutants to "waters of the United States" without a CWA section 402 permit. Both the District Court and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found the defendants criminally guilty of violating the CWA, among other things. The three defendants are serving seven years in jail.

On June 2, 2008, the defendants filed a Petition for Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. NAHB, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed an amicus brief in support of cert. on July 7, 2008. In October 2008, the Supreme Court denied cert. Therefore, NAHB's participation in this suit is complete.