South Dakota Farmer Motions Federal Court to Rule in His Favor in Ongoing Clean Water Act Case


LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Minor County, South Dakota, farmer Arlen Foster asked a federal court on Monday to rule in his favor in an ongoing wetlands lawsuit filed against USDA.

Foster’s lawsuit alleges the agency unlawfully refused to reconsider a wetlands determination when he presented new evidence in 2020 that may have proven the land in question was not a wetland.

For years, USDA has maintained that a puddle in the middle of one of Foster’s fields is a wetland.

Foster filed a motion for summary judgment this week with the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. Summary judgement is entered by a court for one party and against another without a full trial. Summary judgments may be issued on the merits of an entire case or on discrete issues.

In November, USDA asked the court to either grant summary judgement in its favor or dismiss the case outright.

Foster has been battling USDA’s wetland determination on an 0.8-acre tract of land since 2008. USDA declared it a wetland in 2011 based on an agency process, and Foster convinced the Supreme Court to review the determination.

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