Clean Water Act
House Democrats have power to use appropriations process to stop Trump Administration environmental rollbacks
Dan has already posted about some of the big deregulatory steps the Trump Administration is likely to take in the next year. But the new Democratic majority in the House could have something to say about those steps, if they wanted to. Democrats will have even more leverage over spending bills than they had in …CONTINUE READING
EPA needs to take a hand to keep the restoration plan on track. We’ll see how that goes soon.
The effort to restore Chesapeake Bay is something I knew vaguely about but had never looked into. A new on-line dashboard of relevant material inspired me to take a deeper dive. The restoration plan is definitely worth a closer look., It’s the U.S. leading effort to reduce“nonpoint source” water pollution such as agricultural runoff. It …CONTINUE READING
Maui County can’t evade permitting requirements by sending wastewater to injection wells hydrologically connected to ocean waters
It was a great exam question (at least I thought so — you’ll have to ask my Environmental Law and Policy students if they agree): does the disposal of treated wastewater from a municipal wastewater treatment plant into the ground through injection wells located a short distance from the ocean require an NPDES permit under …CONTINUE READING
The Administration is Poised to Act, But Legal Challenges, Procedural Hurdles, and Internal Conflict Are Likely to Make It Difficult
On Monday, I posted a quick summary of the Trump administration’s recent action to start rolling back the Clean Water Rule, a joint rule by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that defines the range of waterways the Clean Water Act protects. The proposed action the agencies announced last week, …CONTINUE READING
This Action is Just the First Step Towards Reducing Clean Water Act Protection for Many Waterways and Wetlands
With much fanfare, the Trump administration announced last Tuesday that it is proposing to rescind the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. This rule is intended to govern determinations of which waterbodies and wetlands are “waters of the United States,” protected under the Clean Water Act. The …CONTINUE READING
States need to work together to make progress happen in the age of Trump.
In the short time since the election, it’s already become a truism that state governments will have to keep the flame alive for environmental protection. But it’s not just individual state governments. It’s also crucial for states to work together. There’s been a lot of loose talk about “Calexit” out here. Secession is unconstitutional. (As …CONTINUE READING
CEQA, Property Rights, Preemption & Clean Water Act Highlight Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket
While 2016 was a quiet year for the U.S. Supreme Court when it came to environmental law, the same cannot be said for the California Supreme Court. To the contrary, 2016 continued a pronounced and significant trend by the California Supreme Court justices in recent years to hear and decide numerous important environmental law issues …CONTINUE READING
Ill-considered Supreme Court Decision Threatens California’s Administration of Clean Water Act Permit Program
The California Supreme Court recently issued a little-noticed decision on a seemingly arcane state public finance issue that could well wind up having a dramatic, negative effect on California’s continued ability to administer the federal Clean Water Act’s permit program in the Golden State. The case is Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates. In …CONTINUE READING
A fight in North Dakota reveals problems in how we permit and review large infrastructure projects
Native American tribes and environmental groups are currently protesting the completion of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. The pipeline would travel beneath the Missouri River. Tribes and environmentalists are fighting the pipeline both through litigation and also through direct action (occupying the site where the construction to complete the pipeline beneath the river would …CONTINUE READING
Environmental enforcement could use a big boost.
The political debate over regulation tends to focus on the regulations themselves. But enforcing the regulations is just as important. Despite what you might think from the howls of business groups and conservative commentators, the enforcement system is not nearly as strong as it should be. Twenty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, roughly …CONTINUE READING