Federal courts of appeal do not have original jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to hear a challenge to EPA’s objection to a state’s draft water pollution discharge permit, the Ninth Circuit held in Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works v. EPA, 853 F.3d 1076 (9th Cir. 2017).

The Clean Water Act

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule defining waters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United States.”  The wide sweep of the coverage afforded by the proposed rule, if finalized, would represent a significant

Do the Clean Water Act and its implementing regulations require permits before stormwater runoff from logging roads can be discharged into the navigable waters of the United States?  No, said the Supreme Court in its March 20th decision, reversing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown. The high court reaffirmed

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Rapanos case in 2006, federal courts have grappled with the question of what qualifies under the Clean Water Act as “waters of the United States.”  Last week in Garland v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, a California court sidestepped the question. 

The Regional Board issued

Background – Basins Plans, Beneficial Uses & the “Tributary Rule”

The California Regional Water Quality Control Boards establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act through the adoption of Basin Plans that identify the “beneficial uses” of the water bodies with their respective jurisdictions.  The problem is that it is not possible for the

In a recent post [“When is a Wetland a Wetland — and How Do We Find Out?“] we described the significant uncertainties in ascertaining the reach of the Clean Water Act over wetlands, ponds, drainage ditches and other small aquatic features only remotely connected to navigable waterways such as rivers and lakes.