Section 404

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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EPA asserts itself on mountaintop removal mining

EPA is finally flexing its muscle on mountaintop removal mining, taking on the Corps of Engineers and stepping in for states that have been reluctant to attack the practice. Mountaintop removal mining involves blasting the tops off of mountains, typically in Appalachia, to get at coal. The ecological problems are less about removal of the …

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How do we decide what is a “Water of the United States”? Rapanos revisited

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinions in Rapanos v. United States in 2006, it has been unclear exactly how the U.S. is to go about evaluating which wetlands and tributaries of navigable waters are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  Until recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asserted federal …

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