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Administrative Law

Clean Water Act Update: EPA Repeals WOTUS Rule in Favor of Pre-2015 Rule

On September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) (together, the “Agencies”)  announced a final rule (the “Repeal Rule”) rescinding the 2015 Clean Water Rule (the “2015 Rule”) that defined “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). This Repeal Rule is…

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Clean Water Act Update: The Latest Twists and Turns on the Path to Defining the Statute’s Jurisdiction

Debates over the reach of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) have been ongoing for decades. At stake is whether a discharge of a pollutant from a point source to a “navigable water,” defined as “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”), requires the discharger to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. The first…

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EPA Cooling Water Intake Rule Upheld in Second Circuit

By: Nathaniel Eisen On July 23rd, 2018, the Second Circuit rejected multiple challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) final rule setting technological standards to prevent aquatic organism deaths in the cooling systems of power plants and manufacturing facilities  (the “Cooling Water Intake Rule” or “Rule”). The 2014 Cooling Water Intake Rule, the culmination of 40…

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Federal Agencies Begin Rulemaking to Weaken Fuel Economy Standards

By: Nathaniel Eisen As one of numerous attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back Obama-era rules, in the coming weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to announce a proposed rule that would weaken the agencies’ 2012 national standards for vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and fuel…

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White House Invites Public Comment on Possible Changes to NEPA Procedures

By: Eric Stern On June 20, 2018, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) published a (the “Notice”) that it is considering updates to the regulations governing environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The Notice does not propose any specific changes.  Rather, it broadly solicits comments from the public on “potential revisions to…

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Federal Agencies Commit to Streamlining Environmental Reviews for Major Infrastructure Projects

On April 9, 2018, the heads of 12 federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) that aims to streamline and shorten federal environmental and permitting reviews for major infrastructure projects.  The MOU implements President Trump’s One Federal Decision (“OFD”) policy established in Executive Order 13807 (“EO 13807”), signed on August 15, 2017 and described…

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