Sackett v. EPA–the Most Important Environmental Case on the Justices’ Current Docket–Will Answer the Key Question of How Far Federal Wetlands Regulation Extends Under the Clean Water Act
Today the U.S. Supreme Court formally begins its 2022-23 Term. First up on the justices’ docket this morning is a major environmental case: Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 21-454. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Over the past half-century, no single CWA issue has proven more contentious and …CONTINUE READING
We’re about to find out in an upcoming case.
What wetlands and waterbodies does the Clean Water Act protect? Congress failed to provide a clear answer when it passed the statute, and the issue has been a bone of contention ever since. The Biden Administration is in the process of issuing a new regulation on the subject. Normally, you’d expect the Supreme Court to …CONTINUE READING
The scope of federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands remains as murky as ever.
The Biden Administration announced on Monday that it would not meet a February target date to issue a revised definition of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. It still plans to issue a revised definition later in the year. That sounds like a very technical issue. But it actually determines the extent to which …CONTINUE READING
State Fills Void Left By Trump Administration’s Weakening of Federal Wetlands Standards
This week California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted important new rules to protect the state’s remaining wetlands resources. Enacted after over a decade of Board hearings, workshops and deliberation, those rules are overdue, welcome and critically necessary. Their adoption is particularly timely now, given the Trump Administration’s wholesale assault on and erosion of federal …CONTINUE READING
A Senate seat and the Governor’s Mansion are both in play.
Florida has not one but two races this year with national significance. One is the Senate race. The other is the Governor’s race. We all know why Senate races matter, especially this year when the Senate is so closely divided. A gubernatorial race, in contrast, normally would be considered mostly a local matter. But there …CONTINUE READING
Guest Bloggers Rob Verchick and Matt Shudtz: Law Professors from Every Coast Ask SCOTUS to Weigh in on Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Case
Professors Argue Fifth Circuit Decision Upsets Federal/State Court Balance, Will Prevent States from Relying on Their Own Laws to Protect Important Natural Resources
Last month, more than two dozen law professors from around the country filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging a fresh look at a lower court decision with sweeping implications for the balance of power between states and the federal government. The issue is vital to Louisiana because it affects whether oil and gas …CONTINUE READING
When you look at the whole of his legacy, it’s a stunning record.
When he leaves office in January, President Obama will have compiled a remarkable record of environmental achievements. The record spans everything from climate change to endangered species and ocean protection. We can only hope that next Tuesday’s election doesn’t undo many of these gains. Here is a list, in no particular order, of twenty of …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
The structure of permitting programs can make a big difference for the implementation of environmental law
Author’s Note: The following post is co-authored by Eric Biber and J.B. Ruhl, the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and the Co-Director of the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program at Vanderbilt Law School. This post is cross-posted at Reg Blog. Reg Blog, supported by the U Penn Program on Regulation is an …CONTINUE READING
The Environmental Protection Agency today issued a proposed new rule that seeks to clarify exactly how far the federal government’s jurisdiction reaches in requiring permits for the dredging and filling of wetlands. In doing so, President Obama’s EPA is responding directly to Chief Justice John Roberts’ lament in his concurring opinion in Rapanos v. United …CONTINUE READING