On September 12, with exactly three weeks until the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in the Sackett v. EPA case, EPA sent the latest iteration of a final rule to define “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. While the Court may not issue an opinion
Supreme Court to Revisit WOTUS Definition Once Again
On Monday, January 24, in Michael Sackett et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency et al., (Case No. 21-454), the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine if the Ninth Circuit used the right test to determine whether wetlands are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Idaho landowners, the Sacketts, disputed the…
District Court Vacates Navigable Waters Protection Rule
A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacated and remanded the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) (together, “Agencies”) that clarified the scope of federal jurisdictional “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Before the promulgation of the NWPR, there had been several rulemakings and much litigation on this complicated issue, causing nationwide confusion on the application of a uniform standard. In 2015, the Obama administration promulgated a WOTUS rule that had been the subject of significant litigation, which the Trump administration had repealed (the “Repeal Rule”). The NWPR sought to provide certainty as to which waterbodies meet the features of WOTUS by creating clear categories of jurisdictional waterbodies.
Continue reading District Court Vacates Navigable Waters Protection Rule