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Clean Water Act

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Maui Injection Wells Case

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA or Act) requires a permit for “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” 33 U.S.C. 1362 (12) (A). On November 6, 2019, the US Supreme Court (Supreme Court) heard oral argument in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260. The question before…

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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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EPA Proposes Updates to Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Certification Requirements

On August 8, 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a set of proposed amendments (the “Proposed Rule”) to the regulations governing the issuance of Water Quality Certifications by states pursuant to Section 401 (“Section 401 Water Quality Certification”) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Under the Section 401 Water Quality Certification process,…

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Where Can Dredge Spoil Find a Home? Connecticut Seeks Dismissal of New York Challenge to Designated Ocean Dumping Site.

By Michael S. Bogin and SPR Summer Associate Aaron Aber  Connecticut and New York will file final briefs this summer in an ongoing dispute before the Eastern District of New York, regarding the legality of the U.S. EPA’s decision to designate a site in the Long Island Sound for disposal of navigational dredge material. The…

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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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WOTUS Rule Reinstated in 26 States through Nationwide Injunction of Trump Administration “Suspension Rule”

On August 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, issued a nationwide injunction to the Trump administration’s so-called “Suspension Rule,” which called for the delayed effective date of the Obama-era “waters of the United States rule” (or “WOTUS Rule”). Thus, the struggle to delineate the federal government’s jurisdiction…

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