In United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes, lnc., this Court upheld Clean Water Act regulation of wetlands adjacent to open waters and other waters of the United States because such wetlands are "inseparably bound up" with those waters and Congress intended to enact a comprehensive program to control water pollution at its source. 474 U.S.121,134 (1985) ("Riverside Bayview").
The Rapanos petitioners challenge the essential holding of Riverside Bayview and contend Clean Water Act regulation is limited to wetlands that directly abut large navigable water bodies, excluding from regulation tributaries and associated wetlands. The Carabell petitioners contend that wetlands separated from a tributary by a narrow earthen berm are not regulated. Each of the petitioners effectively challenges the validity of federal regulations defining "adjacent" wetlands as" waters of the United States." Continue reading.