Section 404

South Carolina Federal Court Blocks Trump EPA Attempt to Suspend Clean Water Rule

G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits

Today, Hon. David Norton of the Federal District Court for the District of South Carolina (an appointee of George H. W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued …

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Hail to the Chief: John Roberts and the WOTUS Rule

Roberts virtually bemoaned the lack of a rulemaking. Now he’s got what he wanted.

The government issued a long-awaited Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS for short).  No doubt there will be much gnashing of teeth about the issuance of the rule — a very safe bet since the gnashers of teeth got going long before the rule was actually issued.  But one person who should be happy …

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Supreme Court Sides With Property Owners in Wetlands Dispute With USEPA

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the most closely watched environmental case on the Court’s docket this Term: Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As expected following an especially lively set of oral arguments in the Sackett case earlier this year, the justices ruled–unanimously–in favor of the private property owners who had brought …

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Can you stand to hear more about Sackett?

Cross posted at CPRBlog. As usual, I’m behind Rick on commenting on the latest Supreme Court development. (In my defense, it is the first day of classes, although I know that’s not much of an excuse.) Unlike Rick, I didn’t attend the oral argument (see lame excuse above), but having read the transcript I agree …

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EPA finalizes mountaintop removal guidance

Cross-posted at CPRBlog and The Berkeley Blog. After a three-and-a-half month delay for White House review, EPA has finalized its guidance for review of mountaintop removal mining permits in Appalachia. I needn’t have worried that the White House would roll EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on this one. The final guidance maintains the strong stand EPA …

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More on Sackett v. EPA

As Rick notes below, the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case arising from enforcement of the wetlands permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, Sackett v. EPA (the link is to the 9th Circuit’s opinion). SCOTUSblog has links to the briefs at the cert stage. Rick explained that the genesis of this …

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Bush-era EPA § 404 veto survives judicial review

A federal court in Mississippi has rejected a legal challenge to EPA’s 2008 veto of a Clean Water Act § 404 permit for the Yazoo Pumps flood control project. (Hat tip: PLF Liberty Blog.) The Yazoo Pumps project was an anachronism, even by pre-environmental era standards. (This brief history of the project is based on …

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Classic Villaraigosan Environmental Policy

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in Los Angeles today, announcing an official EPA finding that Compton Creek, a portion of the Los Angeles River, is a “navigable water” of the United States.  This finding means that Compton Creek can receive the protection of the Clean Water Act: most prominently, it means that any attempts to …

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EPA proposes to veto mountaintop removal project

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. EPA’s seesaw on mountaintop removal mining continues. Last time I wrote about this topic it was to note EPA’s approval of the Hobet 45 project. Today, EPA announced that it is proposing to veto the Spruce No. 1 project, as it had threatened last fall. Should EPA follow through on its proposal, …

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NEPA: middle-aged, but still vigorous

The National Environmental Policy Act, which became law on January 1, 1970, is the oldest of the major federal environmental laws. It has been a model for environmental assessment laws in numerous states and other nations, but it still comes in for a lot of criticism at home. Some criticisms are surely justified. As Dan …

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