WOTUS

An Ax, Not a Scalpel

Trump’s “take no prisoner’s” deregulatory strategy carries big litigation risks.

Some people, it would seem, prefer using an ax to a scalpel. That’s the Trump Administration. That strategy can be a great way to cut down a tree, but it doesn’t work so well for surgery. And there’s always the chance of cutting off your own foot. In many environmental domains, the Administration seems set …

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The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the …

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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G. H. W. Bush Appointee Issues Nationwide Injunction Because Agency Rescinded Prior Rule Without Public Discussion of the Rule’s Merits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W. Bush) issued a nationwide injunction barring the implementation of the so-called “Suspension Rule” that effectively rescinded the Waters of the United States Rule (also called the WOTUS Rule or the Clean Water Rule) previously issued …

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Wetlands, WOTUS and California

California Regulators Can and Should Adopt Strong State Wetlands Protection Rules

For the past year, an overriding concern of many Californians has been whether and how state legislators and regulators can fill the environmental law and policy gap left by a Trump Administration that is in the process of reversing a host of Obama-era environmental rules and that has otherwise largely abandoned the field of environmental …

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How Difficult Will It Be for the Trump Administration to Replace the Clean Water Rule?

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, …

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The EPA Sets in Motion its Plan to Rescind the Waters of the United States Rule

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 …

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Supreme Court Deals Obama Administration Blow in Clean Water Act Case

Supreme Court allows lawsuits early in Clean Water Act permitting process, as Justice Kennedy ominously questions the Act’s reach

The Supreme Court today dealt another blow to the Obama administration in a Clean Water Act case. The Court’s unanimous opinion in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., No. 15-290, addressed the finality of an Army Corps “approved jurisdictional determination” (JD) on whether a particular parcel of property contains “waters of the …

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Key Environmental Developments Ahead in 2016

Here are seven of the most important developments affecting the environment.

2015 was a big year for agency regulations and international negotiations. In 2016, the main focal points will be the political process and the courts. Here are seven major things to watch for. The Presidential Election. The election will have huge consequences for the environment. A Republican President is almost sure to try to roll back most …

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