Shape of water? Legal battles rage over WOTUS repeal while EPA moves to modify veto authority

The Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama Administration’s 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule continue to face an uncertain landscape as the sides line up for a lengthy legal battle.  While the battle continues over the “shape of water” subject to federal control, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently started a process to address a risk faced by many permit applicants – that EPA could veto a Corps of Engineers 404 permit either before it is applied for or after it is issued...

Reading the tea leaves on EPA’s Pebble Mine action

Last week, EPA head Scott Pruitt announced that he will not scrap the agency’s 2014 determination that a large mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska’s Bristol Bay water­shed. While not blocking the proposed mine outright, Pruitt’s decision nevertheless surprised EPA watchers on both sides...

The Sixth Circuit’s decision to hear the CWA WOTUS Rule continues the legal quagmire

On February 22, a divided panel of Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS) can only be challenged in the federal courts of appeals and not federal district courts...

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case on Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Determinations

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit that Clean Water Act (CWA) Jurisdictional determinations (JDs) are subject to immediate judicial review. In Hawkes v...

The Sixth Circuit Hears Arguments on WOTUS Rule Jurisdiction

On December 8, the battle over which federal court jurisdiction will hear the challenge to the Corps and EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule came to a head in a spirited hearing before a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati...