By

Benjamin Tannen

21 November 2018

Cert Petitions May Mean Supreme Court Will Clarify Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

This article originally appeared in The WLF Legal Pulse

The definition of waters of the United States is central to the CWA.  At its core, the Act bans “the discharge of any pollutant” except in compliance with other provisions of the Act, such as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permitting program.  33 U.S.C. § 1311(a).  “Discharge of a pollutant” is defined in relevant part as “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source,” where (i) “navigable waters” are “the waters of the United States,”  and (ii) a “point source” is “any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged.”  See 33 U.S.C. §§ 1362(7), (12) and (14). (more…)

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06 September 2017

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Environmental group brings Clean Water Act citizen suit against Shell and Motiva that alleges climate change-related harms.
  • District court stays CERCLA unilateral administrative order.
  • District court overturns Department of the Interior stay of rule governing royalties for oil, natural gas and coal production on federal and Indian lands.
  • Second Circuit upholds New York State’s decision to deny Clean Water Act certification to proposed pipeline.
  • C. Circuit holds that FERC should consider power plant emissions in pipeline environmental impact statement.
  • Hurricane Harvey affects Gulf Coast energy and chemical resources.

(more…)

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24 August 2017

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Federal agencies reopen comment on Obama administration auto fuel efficiency standards.
  • Environmental groups file legal challenges to TSCA rules.
  • Tenth Circuit vacates EPA denial of small-refinery renewable fuels exemption.
  • EPA begins revisions to power plant wastewater rules.
  • DC Circuit rules EPA’s hydrofluorocarbon rule exceeds statutory authority.

(more…)

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21 April 2017

EPA Seeks Stakeholder Comments on Reforming Existing Regulations

*This article originally appeared in Washington Legal Foundation’s Counsel’s Advisory at wlf.org on April 21, 2017.

President Trump has made regulatory reform a priority for his Administration. Among other actions, on February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, which mandates that each agency establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to “evaluate existing regulations … and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.”

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