USACE jurisdictional determination reviewable

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USACE Jurisdictional Determination Immediately Reviewable

USACE jurisdictional determination reviewable

In an 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that landowners can challenge U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“USACE”) jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  In United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, the eight-Justice Supreme Court concluded that a jurisdictional determination issued by the USACE under the CWA constitute “final agency action” under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), which means those decisions can be immediately reviewed in court. USACE Jurisdictional Determination Under the CWA Hawkes


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Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load

Total Maximum Daily Load upheld

In December 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.  The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load was established as a “pollution diet” of sorts, which imposed “rigorous accountability measures to initiate sweeping actions to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers,” according to the EPA. The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load The EPA has said that “[d]espite extensive restoration efforts and significant pollution reductions during


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"Pay-for-play" Peer Review Legislation

Peer review legislation at issue in EPA petition

In a previous posting, utahwaterlaw.com reported on concerns voiced by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to the Utah Legislature over now-passed SB 110, titled “Water Quality Amendments,” which the EPA warned that SB 110’s peer review proposal violated the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  In a letter to the Utah Legislature, the EPA noted that SB 110’s plan to subject Utah Division of Water Quality actions to an independent peer review did not comply with the CWA.  The letter further stated


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Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

SCOTUS won’t hear 9th Cir. NPDES permit case

In June, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding in Alaska Comm. Action on Toxics, et al. v. Aurora Energy Services.  The Supreme Court’s denial came after Aurora and the Alaska Railroad Corp. petitioned the Court for review, asking the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s holding that they said improperly narrowed the Clean Water Act’s (“CWA”) permit shield to allow citizen suits over discharges of pollutants not specified in a


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U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Clean Water Rule Challenges to be heard by Sixth Circuit

Recently we reported on the stay issued by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Clean Water Rule.  The Clean Water Rule was challenged by a number of plaintiffs in various federal district courts and circuit courts around the country.  The plaintiffs filed petitions in both the district and circuit courts based upon what they allege is uncertainty about whether the adoption of the Clean Water Rule is within those actions that must be challenged in a U.S. Circuit


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WQS

National WQS updated under EPA final rule

In august 2015, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) signed a final rule updating six significant areas of the federal water quality standards, or WQS for short, regulation, which assists the EPA in implementing the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  According to the EPA: The final revisions provide a better-defined pathway for state and authorized tribes to improve water quality, protect high quality waters, increase transparency and enhance opportunities for meaningful public engagement at the state, tribal and local levels.


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Peer review legislation does not comply with Clean Water Act, EPA says

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently sent a letter to Utah’s Division of Water Quality, which noted that the proposed legislation to make the division’s actions subject to an independent peer review did not comply with the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The letter warned that, if the bill was passed without changes, then the federal government might step in to manage water in the state of Utah. The bill at issue, SB 110, entitled Water Quality Amendments, seeks to establish


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Clean Water Act section 404(f) “interpretive rule” withdrawn after NMPF objects

In response to objections raised by the National Milk Producers Federation, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has withdrawn an interpretive rule regarding when farmers must seek Clean Water Act permits for a laundry list of farming activities taking place near wetlands.  The rule specifically stated that farmers were only exempt from needing to obtain Clean Water Act permits for certain farming practices if they complied with the National Resources Conservation Service (“NRCS”) technical conservation standards. The EPA’s withdrawal of the