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Environmental Blog

  • 10
  • January
  • 2017

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues 2017 Nationwide Permits for Streamlined Permitting

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) issued a new set of nationwide permits to replace existing permits that expire on March 18, 2017. Congress authorized the Corps to issue these types of nationwide permits to streamline the permitting process for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, under Clean Water Act Section 404 or work in or affecting navigable waterways, under Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10, in either case when it has no more than a minimal individual or cumulative adverse effect on the environment. The 2017 nationwide permits closely mirror the draft version the Corps released for public comment in June 2016, generally with only minor revisions and clarifications. In addition to reissuing 50 existing nationwide permits, the Corps issued two new permits, one for the removal of low-head dams, and another for “living shorelines” used to stabilize banks and shores in coastal waters. The nationwide permits are frequently used for development activities ranging from navigational aids and bank stabilization to linear projects and commercial developments.

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  • 26
  • October
  • 2016

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Water Data, Water Data Everywhere

Several years ago, analytics guru Gary Cokins popularized the notion that organizations are drowning in data but starving for information. The waterbody metaphor is apt, particularly for water management agencies that would like to swim—but not drown—in the data they and others collect that can help them better manage scarce water resources. Propelled by lingering pains of California’s recent drought, the California legislature took a step in this direction last month when it passed, and the governor signed, the Open and Transparent Water Data Act.

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What U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. Might Mean for the Corp’s JD Program and Clean Water Act Enforcement

The Supreme Court dealt the Obama Administration another Clean Water Act loss on May 31, 2016, ruling unanimously that landowners can more quickly go to court to challenge the federal government when it claims Clean Water Act jurisdiction over their property. 

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Sixth Circuit Declines to Revisit Its Decision to Keep Jurisdiction Over WOTUS Litigation

On Thursday, April 21, the full Sixth Circuit denied six petitions for en banc rehearing of a three-judge panel’s February 2016 decision that the court of appeals has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the controversial Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) rule. The decision is a disappointment for states and industry groups, who seek to litigate the rule in district courts across the country.

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  • 01
  • March
  • 2016

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WOTUS Challengers Begin Responding to the Sixth Circuit’s Order Retaining Jurisdiction

Yesterday, we wrote about last week’s Sixth Circuit decision to keep jurisdiction over challenges to the federal government’s rule redefining “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act. We suggested that given the fractured nature of the Sixth Circuit panel’s opinion, the case was ripe for parties to request en banc rehearing before the full Sixth Circuit.

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