wetlands

Rand Paul versus Clean Water

Rand Paul’s plan to cut wetlands protection and make enforcement against polluters impossible.

Rand Paul recently won a big victory in the straw poll held by CPAC,the Conservative Political Action Conference.  In the environmental area, his signature measure is the Defense of Environment and Property Act. On its surface, the goal of the law is to cut back on federal jurisdiction over wetlands. The bill would drastically cut back …

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Previewing This Week’s Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court’s Most Important Property Rights Case This Term

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what is shaping up as the Court’s most important property rights case of the current Term: Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, No. 11-1447.  What can we expect? Koontz is one of three Takings Clause cases on the Court’s docket this Term.  …

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Supreme Court Grants Review in Takings/Flooding Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review in what will be the first environmental case of its next (2012-13) Term: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States, No. 11-597. The ultimate question is whether the federal government is liable for millions of dollars in damages for flooding a 23,000-acre wildlife management area owned by the State …

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EPA’s bad week continues — mountaintop removal veto overturned

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Regular readers of this blog know that on January 13, 2011, EPA vetoed a Clean Water Act section 404 permit issued by the Corp of Engineers for valley fill at the Spruce No. 1 mountaintop removal mine project in West Virginia. This was only the 13th time EPA had used its veto …

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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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U.S. Supreme Court Justices Are on USEPA’s Case

You can’t blame the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of late for feeling it’s under siege. All of the current Republican presidential candidates are regularly excoriating EPA on the campaign trail, and Congress has conducted oversight hearings and threatened all sorts of legislative action designed to clip EPA’s regulatory wings. Now the U.S. Supreme Court appears …

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Briefly noted: four recent federal appellate decisions

Here are links to and brief descriptions of four interesting recent decisions from federal appellate courts: Wilderness Society v. Kane County, 10th Cir., en banc, 1/11/2011. This decision is the latest in a long-running dispute over the extent to which Kane County in southern Utah can authorize the use of off-road vehicles on federal lands. …

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Clearing the Waters

Law Week (subscription only) reports that: Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation April 21 that would amend the Clean Water Act to clarify and “reaffirm” U.S. jurisdiction over waters of the United States, including wetlands. The America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act (H.R. 5088) would remove the term “navigable waters of the United States” from …

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Coeur Alaska–A Shifting Legal Position by the Obama Administration?

As the U.S. Supreme Court Term winds down, only one environmental case on the Court’s docket remains undecided: Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, No. 07-984. That case, which involves the relationship between the Clean Water Act’s water pollution control (NPDES) and its wetlands dredge-and-fill programs, arises in the context of a proposed gold …

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A Supreme Court Speed-Bump for Coeur Alaska

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s issuance of its major CERCLA opinion yesterday in Burlington Northern, the Court has now decided four of the five major environmental cases on its docket this Term. But a little-noticed order from the Court–also issued yesterday–suggests that the Court is struggling mightily with the fifth and final case, Coeur Alaska, …

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