Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1972 to reduce levels of toxic substances in the nation's water supply and to prevent high levels of new contamination.  The CWA seeks to... more +
The Clean Water Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1972 to reduce levels of toxic substances in the nation's water supply and to prevent high levels of new contamination.  The CWA seeks to accomplish its stated goals by preventing point and nonpoint pollution sources, assisting wastewater treatment facilities and maintaining wetlands. less -
News & Analysis as of

Executive Order That Seeks to Undo Obama Administration's "Waters of the United States" Rule Has More Limited Immediate Impacts

Debate and uncertainty regarding the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act will continue under the Executive Order. On February 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “Restoring...more

Texas Federal Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Based On Sea Turtle Concerns

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction relying primarily on Endangered Species Act (ESA) claims, halting operation of a mooring project on the Lydia Ann...more

Presidential Executive Order Begins Rollback of the “Waters of the United States Rule”

The rollback of the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule is underway. Last week, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army...more

As Newcomers to the Industrial Storm Water Permit, Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries Have Options to Comply

The statewide Industrial Storm Water permit (Industrial Permit) provides federal Clean Water Act permit coverage for a host of different industries, including wineries, breweries, and distilleries (alcoholic beverage...more

President Trump Orders Revisit of "Waters of the United States" Rule

President Donald Trump issued, on February 28, 2017, an Executive Order ("EO") aimed at rescinding and revising the Obama Administration-issued final rule entitled "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, March 2017

TSCA/FIFRA/NTP - Lynn L. Bergeson, Charles M. Auer, and Carla Hutton, “Practitioner Insights: A Review and Analysis of TSCA Reform Provisions Pertinent to Manufacturers and Processors of Nanoscale Materials,” Bloomberg...more

Changing Tide for Obama-era Water Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the withdrawal of the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of...more

Clean Water Act Suit in Washington Federal District Court Implicates Pesticide Active Ingredients

On February 21, 2017, the Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) filed a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District that involves a number of pesticide active ingredients in addition...more

Implications of “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) Rule Rollback for Pesticide Permitting

President Trump’s February 28, 2017, Executive Order (E.O.) directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to rescind and replace the Clean Water Rule (CWR) is the latest...more

“Waters of the US” – The Tide of Uncertainty Rises Again

The controversial definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which establishes the reach of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, has been thrust in a new direction. On February 28, 2017, President Trump...more

President Trump Signs WOTUS Rule's Death Warrant

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to begin the process of rescinding or revising the infamous Waters of the United States (or WOTUS) Rule. Years in the making, the WOTUS Rule was supposed to...more

Fifth Circuit: Some Degree of Propinquity Is Required To Maintain Claims

In Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, et al., v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a unanimous ruling...more

US Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Levee Board’s Lawsuit Against 97 Oil and Gas Companies

On March 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Eastern District’s exercise of jurisdiction and dismissal on the merits of a headline-grabbing environmental law tort suit against 97 oil...more

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Coastal Erosion Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Defendants

On March 3, 2017, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Southeastern Louisiana Flood Protection Authority against dozens of defendants in the...more

Trump Executive Order Seeks to Limit Scope of Clean Water Act

The executive order asks agencies to repeal or revise an Obama-era rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act and recommends adoption of a narrower standard articulated by the late Justice Scalia....more

The Executive Order on the WOTUS Rule: Will It Really Reduce Regulatory Uncertainty?

March 2nd, 2017, President Trump issued another executive order on the environment, this time directing EPA to revisit the EPA rule defining Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. It’s a curious order, for a...more

President Trump Orders Reexamination of Controversial Federal Power Grab Under Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, allows the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers to regulate many activities, including development and agriculture, to the extent these activities impact Waters of the United States. Such...more

US Army Corps of Engineers Updates Five-Year Nationwide Permits – USACE Generally Declines to Apply More Rigorous Limits, but...

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reissued 52 nationwide permits (NWPs) and issued two new NWPs, along with general conditions and definitions. NWPs are a type of general permit authorized under...more

Trump Issues Order for Review of Clean Water Rule

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) to review the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of...more

Executive Order Signals Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Will Be Narrowed

In the latest chapter of the seemingly never-ending controversy over the Clean Water Act’s reach, on February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S....more

President Signs Executive Order Directing EPA and Army to Review and “Rescind or Revise” Clean Water Rule

Joel Beauvais and Claudia O’Brien have authored an article entitled “Re-Evaluating the Clean Water Rule: The Long Road Ahead.” President Donald Trump, on February 28, signed an executive order (EO) directing the U.S....more

Briefing Paper on President Trump's Executive Order ane the Definition of "Waters of the United States"

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW, FEDERALISM, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH BY REVIEWING THE ‘WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES’ RULE.” The purpose of this briefing paper is...more

WOTUS, We Hardly Knew Ye

With a flourish of his pen, on February 28 President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at dismantling the ill-fated Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The rule was the latest attempt by EPA and the Army Corps of...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

U.S. Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as EPA Chief, Signaling Conservative Re-Imagining of EPA’s Role in Society and Government

On February 17, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee Scott Pruitt as the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Senate confirmation followed weeks of partisan and public attacks...more

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