Environmental Policies Clean Water Act

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issue Final Rule Defining “Waters of the United States”...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a final rule defining “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act....more

Activists Make Good on Promise to Sue DOT over Pipeline Regs.

On October 8, the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) fulfilled its promise to sue the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The lawsuit alleges that for 20 years the DOT has allowed pipelines to operate illegally by...more

Waters of the U.S. Rule on Nationwide Hold

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed nationwide application of a controversial rule designed to clarify what water bodies and wetlands are subject to federal Clean Water Act regulation today in a 2-1...more

Curiouser and Curiouser: Sixth Circuit Not Sure of Jurisdiction but Stays WOTUS Rule Anyway

Does this make sense to you? Eighteen states petitioned the Sixth Circuit to challenge the new rule adopted by EPA and the Corps of Engineers defining “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Then the...more

Sixth Circuit Issues Nationwide Stay of Clean Water Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay of the controversial EPA/Corps of Engineers Clean Water Rule which was effective August 28, 2015. Some 30 states, industry and environmental groups had...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal judge in South Dakota issues eleventh-hour order blocking implementation of EPA/COE’s new definition of 'waters of the United States': The Hill - Aug 27: A federal judge in North...more

Obama Administration Issues Final Rule on “Waters of the United States” - The Rule Will Expand The Universe Of "Waters" Subject To...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of “Waters of the United...more

EPA/Corps Adopt “Waters of the U.S.” Rule: What’s Next?

Wednesday, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released a prepublication version of the final rule defining “waters of the United States,” the jurisdictional trigger under the Clean Water Act. The term needs defining because...more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

This monthly publication provides information on compliance deadlines, regulatory developments, and other developments in federal, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire environmental and land use laws. NEW REGULATORY...more

EPA Releases Clean Water Act Final 2012 And Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans

On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Final 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Final 2012 Plan) and the Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Preliminary 2014...more

Trial Judge Concludes The Deepwater Horizon Spill Caused By BP’s Gross Negligence And Willful Misconduct

On September 4, 2014 the federal district judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill issued long-awaited rulings as to liability. The court concluded that BP is subject to...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States” Under the...

On April 21, 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (collectively the “Agencies”) released a proposed rule to define the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act...more

The Clean Water Act - Is groundwater included?

There has been much controversy in the courts as to whether groundwater can be defined as “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. Courts are split on this decision, with equal numbers of rulings on both sides. One...more

EPA Wins Two Clean Water Cases in One Day: The Fourth Circuit Affirms a Narrow Construction of the Permit Shield Defense

Yesterday, I noted that the D.C. Circuit rejected challenges to EPA’s Enhanced Coordination Process and Final Guidance on Clean Water Act permitting for mining activities. It was not EPA’s only CWA victory. On the same day,...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - July 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: House holds hearing on proposed ‘Waters of the United States’ rule - Association of California Water Agencies - Jul 9: The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing...more

More Pipeline Development Projects: What America Needs

National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenges to pipeline projects and other natural gas infrastructure have become a commonplace tool in recent years for environmental groups seeking to defeat or delay midstream...more

EPA Proposes Change to Clean Water Act Rule and Definition of the Term “Waters of the U.S.”

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a proposed rule changes related to the Clean Water Act and the definition of the term “Waters of the United States.” If adopted, it is believed they will greatly expand...more

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

EPA Makes Blueberry Farms Collateral Damage in Wetland Battle

One of the important provisions of the 2013 amendments (2013 P.A. 98 or Act 98) to Michigan's wetland statute (Part 303 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act) required the Michigan Department of...more

Update on EPA’s Proposed “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

As we highlighted here a couple of months ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule in March that could significantly expand the scope of the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants. This spells uncertainty...more

Inside the Mining Industry: An Arizona Mining Lawyer Discusses Key Challenges, Opportunities & Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Other than market forces, Federal permitting processes continue to be a primary cause of delay for new mines and the expansion of existing mines throughout the United States. The federal government manages a significant...more

2014 IGP Challenge Filed

A petition for Writ of Mandate was filed May 8 asking Alameda Superior Court to order the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to immediately reopen and modify the new Industrial General Permit (IGP), adopted April 1,...more

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