Clean Water Act

Court Narrows Scope of NWP 12 Ruling; Corps Appeals to Ninth Circuit

Last month, we wrote about a recent decision from the US District Court for the District of Montana vacating Nationwide Permit (“NWP”) 12, the general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for pipelines and other utility projects. On May 11, the court narrowed the scope of the decision, vacating and enjoining the…

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EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Publish Final “Waters of the United States” Rule

On April 21, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (together, the “Agencies”) published a final rule in the Federal Register redefining the term “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The Agencies previously issued pre-publication notice of the final rule on January 23, 2020. …

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Nationwide Permit for Pipelines and Utility Projects Vacated on ESA Grounds

On April 15, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Montana issued a decision in Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, vacating Nationwide Permit (“NWP”) 12, a general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for pipelines and other utility projects. The case was brought, in…

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EPA Releases Enforcement Discretion Guidance in Response to COVID-19

These days, it seems as though COVID-19 is leaving no aspect of government untouched, and federal environmental regulation is no exception. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum on Thursday, March 26th outlining “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program.” This temporary guidance explains how EPA plans to exercise enforcement discretion…

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Maui Injection Wells Case

The federal Clean Water Act (CWA or Act) requires a permit for “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” 33 U.S.C. 1362 (12) (A). On November 6, 2019, the US Supreme Court (Supreme Court) heard oral argument in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260. The question before…

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Clean Water Act Update: EPA Repeals WOTUS Rule in Favor of Pre-2015 Rule

On September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) (together, the “Agencies”)  announced a final rule (the “Repeal Rule”) rescinding the 2015 Clean Water Rule (the “2015 Rule”) that defined “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). This Repeal Rule is…

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