Litigation

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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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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Where Can Dredge Spoil Find a Home? Connecticut Seeks Dismissal of New York Challenge to Designated Ocean Dumping Site.

By Michael S. Bogin and SPR Summer Associate Aaron Aber  Connecticut and New York will file final briefs this summer in an ongoing dispute before the Eastern District of New York, regarding the legality of the U.S. EPA’s decision to designate a site in the Long Island Sound for disposal of navigational dredge material. The…

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Clean Water Act Update: The Latest Twists and Turns on the Path to Defining the Statute’s Jurisdiction

Debates over the reach of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) have been ongoing for decades. At stake is whether a discharge of a pollutant from a point source to a “navigable water,” defined as “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”), requires the discharger to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. The first…

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