Developers have no standing to fight Santa Cruz “navigable” designation

usgs.gov
usgs.gov
usgs.gov

Pima County supervisor Ray Carroll’s fight to stop Rosemont Mine included what many believed was the absurd claim that the Santa Cruz River was a navigable river. While it may remain an absurd position, Carroll and mine opponents got the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to sign on.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle, did not rule as to the legitimacy of the “navigable” designation, but she did find that the National Association of Home Builder, who brought the lawsuit to stop the federal agencies from designating the stretches of the Santa Cruz River as “navigable,” had no standing to sue.

Huvelle ruled the National Association of Home Builders had no legal standing to challenge the “navigable” claim. Huvelle said that only affected property owners would have the right to challenge the designation.

The judge also found that the plaintiffs failed to show damages.

The plaintiffs argued that because so much of Arizona land is near washes, the restrictions associated with building near a “navigable’ waterway would affect many builders.

Plaintiffs are going to consult with their attorneys before deciding if they will appeal the decision.

According to filings, the plaintiffs said the EPA designation ” is unsupported by credible evidence demonstrating that the Santa Cruz River is currently, or ever was, susceptible to use as a highway for water-borne interstate commerce.”

The Santa Cruz River is a wash which is dry for most of the year, filling during heavy rains in January and in summer months.

3 Comments

  1. 10 out of 12 months the EPA can’t float their boat in the Santa Cruz; therefore, the EPA should be downsized by 83%.

  2. Here is another blatant example of legislative insanity from the bench by an unaccountable “judge for life” with a personal agenda.

    It is insane to argue or agree that this wash is a “navigable waterway.”

    It is insane that this organization has not been harmed, and thus has no standing. The member builders will have to accommodate mountains of additional EPA regulations, many not yet written, in developing this land at an incalculable cost of many tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. That cost will have to be passed to citizen property owners/buyers.

    This lawsuit by this organization actually represented the interests of all current and future private property owners (American citizens) who will be forced by the EPA into untold additional costs or financial loss. These property owners cannot afford a suit like this on their own, and were thus having their interests protected by this lawsuit. And of course Mr. Carroll’s efforts are intended to throw roadblocks in the path of a mining operation that will bring prosperity to southern AZ, and to do so no matter what the cost to AZ citizens. We already know his agenda.

    So, what is the personal agenda of this federal gov’t-loving “judge for life?”

    And why has the federal legislative representation from AZ done NOTHING to rein in this illegal, out-of-control EPA?

    God bless America.

  3. “According to filings, the plaintiffs said the EPA designation “is unsupported by credible evidence demonstrating that the Santa Cruz River is currently, or ever was, susceptible to use as a highway for water-borne interstate commerce.”

    Arizona is known for its “rivers with no water”, and if it wasn’t for the Monsoon and other times which bring heavy rains – they would continue to be so!

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