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Tag Archive 'Clean Water Act'

Chevron Step II with Teeth

This is a post for Ad-law geeks. The Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic just won its case challenging the EPA Water Transfer Rule on behalf of Trout Unlimited, Waterkeeper Alliance and Hudson Riverkeeper. The Clinic has been representing Trout Unlimited on this issue for well over a decade, since 2000 when the Clinic commenced litigation seeking […]

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Sacketts 9, EPA 0, GE 0

The Sackett decision is out.  Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court voted 9-0 to hold that EPA’s order directing the Sacketts to remove fill material from a disputed wetlands area was final, ripe, and immediately reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act.  Justice Scalia wrote the relatively short opinion, which focused entirely on the finality question under […]

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Last week, Supreme Court Westchester County (the nisi prius level of the New York court system) threw out the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s general permit for municipal stormwater systems.  A copy of the opinion can be downloaded here. NRDC and several Waterkeeper environmental groups challenged the general permits on the grounds that they essentially […]

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Air and Water . . . and Chickens

A state administrative case we’ve been watching addresses the question whether an egg farm can be required to get a Clean Water Act NPDES permit for discharges of chicken feathers and litters into the air through its ventilation exhaust fans.  The North Carolina DENR initially required a permit for the emissions from Rose Acre Farms, […]

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The transcript from today’s SCOTUS argument in Sackett v. EPA is out.  Sackett is a landowner challenging an EPA CWA § 309 Administrative Compliance Order that directed him to cease wetlands fill activities and restore wetlands on his lot, where he was building a residence.  The lower courts held (consistent with all other circuits) that […]

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Energy and Environment News this week reported on a letter from the GOP congressional leadership urging EPA to scrap its proposed Waters of the United States guidance document, noticed for public comment last May.  No surprises there.  The proposed guidance takes the view that the scope of jurisdictional waters of the United States (and wetlands) […]

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by Daniel E. Estrin Supervising Attorney, Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, Inc. Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit last month issued two well-reasoned and important opinions regarding the enforcement and application of federal environmental statutes. First, on October 3, 2011, the court considered federal court abstention […]

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While the Deepwater Horizon spill has been out of the headlines for a year, oil continues to bleed into the Gulf of Mexico from many other drill rigs.  Waterkeeper Alliance and several Gulf Coast Waterkeeper organizations have just given notice of their intent to sue one drilling rig, once owned by Taylor Energy (and since […]

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Clean Water Act § 316(b) requires facilities that discharge waste heat (primarily thermal electric steam generating power plants) to use the “Best Technology Available” (BTA) for minimizing or avoiding adverse environmental impact.  The primary impact of these facilities is the impingement and entrainment of billions of fish and aquatic organisms annually in the cooling water […]

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One of the bedrock principles of environmental federalism is that States may always choose to impose stricter, more protective standards than the federal agency might choose for the same activity.  One of the key means by which environmental federalism is implemented for water quality standards is the Clean Water Act § 401 certification requirement for […]

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