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Environmental Blog

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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  • 11
  • May
  • 2016

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EPA Accused of Deceiving District Court Regarding Blending and Mixing Zone Policies Under CWA

The most recent development in EPA’s struggle with challenges to its ‘blending’ and ‘mixing zones’ policies is interesting, to say the least. On May 2, 2016, in a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit in the District Court for the District of Columbia, EPA was accused by plaintiff Hall & Associates (H&A) of misleading the court when it submitted a declaration that the plaintiffs characterized as “a complete and utter fabrication.”

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  • 06
  • May
  • 2016

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Enviros Launch New Assault Against RCRA E&P Exemption

On May 4, 2016, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), Earthworks, and three other environmental groups filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  The suit seeks to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review, and, if necessary, promulgate revised regulations and guidelines for the disposal, storage, transportation, and handling of oil and natural gas wastes.  

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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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White House Announces Another Plank in its Environmental Platform - Plan for a Sustainable Water Future

As it looks down the home stretch of its second term, the Obama Administration has been steadily ramping up measures to solidify its environmental legacy, particularly with its climate change agenda. Linked to its climate change measures is a recent Administration announcement of a program for addressing challenges with the use, conservation, and availability of water in the United States. The White House believes that the country will experience more frequent, intense, and longer droughts because of climate change impacts.

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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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  • 23
  • February
  • 2016

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Decision Invalidating TCEQ’s Drought Curtailment Rules is Final

On February 19, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality v. Texas Farm Bureau et al., which held that Texas cannot treat cities and power generators preferentially compared to parties with more senior water rights, even if the state declares it necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

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  • 29
  • January
  • 2016

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Federal Regulatory Outlook for CAFOs in 2016 . . . and Beyond

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) will announce whether it will renew the National Enforcement Initiative (NEI) for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Agency solicited public comment in a Federal Register notice on whether to renew the CAFO NEI, as well as the Agency’s other five NEIs, for Fiscal Years (FY) 2017-2019.

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  • 21
  • October
  • 2015

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EPA Updates Effluent Guidelines, Adds New Requirements for Power Plant Wastewater Discharges

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time set federal limits on the levels of toxic metals in wastewater that can be discharged from power plants, including mercury, lead and selenium. EPA issued these new regulations because, without them, the regulations (last updated in 1982) did not address treating dissolved pollutants in power plant wastestreams.

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  • 16
  • October
  • 2015

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Texas Supreme Court Denies Review of a Water Well Damage Dispute

On September 25, the Supreme Court of Texas denied a petition for review filed by Canadian River Municipal Water Authority. Canadian argued that property owner Hayhook Ltd. could not file suit to enforce a settlement agreement between the parties, and sought reversal of a ruling by the Seventh Court of Appeals that held that governmental immunity cannot be invoked to evade enforcement of a settlement agreement that covers claims for which immunity had been waived. 

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Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Partner

Carrick Brooke-Davidson

Carrick Brooke-Davidson Counsel

Jennifer Cornejo

Jennifer Cornejo Associate

Theresa Romanosky

Theresa Romanosky Senior Associate

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck Senior Associate

Ross Woessner

Ross Woessner Associate

Jay Rothrock

Jay Rothrock Senior Associate