Breaking: Supreme Court takes up Clean Water Act Case

The below excerpt from Scotusblog can be found HERE. The Clean Water Act bars the discharge of any pollutant into “navigable waters” without a permit. In its lone grant on today’s order list, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a violation of the CWA occurs only when a pollutant is released directly into navigable […]

Revised Waters of the U.S. Rule Update

On December 28, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) published a revised Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) to clarify the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The proposed rule is open for a 60-day comment period. The proposed rule is intended to […]

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss CWA Groundwater Pollution Case

Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge William G. Young denied a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit brought by the Conservation Law Foundation against Wychmere Beach Club alleging that the Cape Code resort polluted waterways. Judge Young stated that the Foundation’s case could hinge on the “hydrologic connection” theory, under which theory the Clean Water Act […]

Federal Funding for Sites Reservoir

The Departments of Interior and Agriculture announced a $449 million grant for the Sites Reservoir Project in Colusa County, California. The Sites Reservoir is a proposed 13-mile lake that would hold nearly 1.8 million acre-feet of water diverted from the Sacramento River. The $449 million grant will fund a pipeline that will connect the Glenn-Colusa […]

Senate Passes Water Infrastructure Act, Sending it to Trump

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 99-1 to pass a water infrastructure and reform bill authorizing dozens of new projects to upgrade drinking water, wastewater, and irrigation systems. (S.B. 2800 (2018) https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2800.) The bill contains many provisions of interest to those involved in the hydropower, dam, or agricultural industries, among others: • Rehabilitation of Army Corps-constructed […]

Circuit Split: Regulatory Reach of Clean Water Act

On September 24, 2018, the 6th Circuit issued rulings in two cases over the question of how direct a connection there must be between the source of pollution and waters that were allegedly polluted for the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) to apply. The 6th Circuit rulings created a split in the circuits on issue of […]

Drama: Fluctuating Status of the WOTUS Rule

The Waters of the United States Rule (“WOTUS Rule”) implemented under the Obama administration in 2015 has gone through much back and forth since the beginning. Numerous states and industry groups sued to stop implementation of the WOTUS Rule in 2015. The Sixth Circuit consolidated various challenges and issued a nationwide stay of the WOTUS […]

EPA Takes Steps to Limit Veto Powers

US EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday that he will be revoking the agency’s power to veto at any time permits allowing waste from mining and infrastructure projects to impact waters of the US, including wetlands. Pruitt has directed the agency’s Office of Water to put a proposal together over the next 6 months that […]

Proposed Revisions to the Clean Water Act: EPA’s Veto Power Thwarted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced on June 27, 2018 that Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to do away with the agency’s power to veto permits allowing material from mining and infrastructure projects to impact waters of the U.S. Pruitt directed the agency to put together a proposal to change regulations controlling the agency’s authority […]

States Ask Federal Judge to Nix EPA’s Delay of the Clean Water Rule Update

A group of states, including California and New York, asked a federal judge this week to invalidate the US EPA’s recent choice to delay implementing an Obama-era update to the Clean Water Rule, arguing that the agency failed to follow proper notice-and-comment protocol when delaying the rule’s application. The rule, to be implemented by EPA […]

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