VIDA Regulations to Be Finalized to Protect WOTUS From Vessel Discharges

On September 8, 2023, the EPA published a proposed consent decree to finalize nationwide standards that will protect U.S. waterways from harmful vessel discharges. Under the agreement, the agency must release final regulations on ballast water discharges by September 24, 2024. The proposed consent decree is to settle Center for Biological Diversity et al. v. […]

401 Certification Revisions and New WOTUS Definition Implications

On September 14, 2023, the EPA announced a final rule to restore the fundamental authority granted by Congress under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to states, territories, and tribes to protect water resources. “The Agency’s final Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule (Section 401) will support clear, efficient, and focused water […]

WOTUS Redefined in Response to SCOTUS Sackett Decision

On August 29, 2023, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced a final rule amending the 2023 definition of “waters of the United States (WOTUS)” to conform with the recent U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Sackett v. EPA. Having a clear and defensible definition of WOTUS is critical for Clean […]

Sackett Decision Implications for WOTUS And Chevron

On May 25, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its second opinion in Sackett v. EPA, ruling the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) improperly claimed jurisdiction over a private property wetland. In a unanimous ruling for the nine justices, Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said, “Wetlands that are […]

Federal Judge Blocks New WOTUS Rule in 24 States

North Dakota Federal District Court Judge Daniel Hovland granted a preliminary injunction that will block the EPA from enforcing its new waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in 24 states. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by 24 state attorneys general (AGs). “The group says the EPA’s WOTUS rule ‘goes beyond […]

Clean Water Act Under Fire Again: The Legal Landscape of WOTUS

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States (WOTUS) and regulating quality standards for surface waters.  Under the CWA, the EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. The EPA has also developed national water quality criteria […]

A Deep Dive Into the ‘Final’ WOTUS Rule

On January 18, 2023, the long-awaited final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS)’” rule was published in the Federal Register. It is set to go into effect March 20, 2023.  The definition of WOTUS is the key to determining the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This final rule repeals […]

WOTUS and Wetlands With SCOTUS Again

The first case on the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) 2022 fall docket was Sackett v. EPA, which asked the Court to consider scaling back the EPA’s authority to regulate some types of wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA). One of the main issues in the case is to determine which test courts should use […]

The Ongoing Saga of Redefining WOTUS

The old adage that you can’t please everyone definitely applies to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). According to the fall Unified Agenda, a new WOTUS definition was proposed to be released by the Biden administration in February 2022. However, there is a mountain of comments to sort through, as the EPA […]

EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Post Updates to WOTUS

The EPA and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) posted proposed updates to the definition of waters of the United States (WOTUS) in the Federal Register on December 7, 2021. The proposed rule would define WOTUS as: Traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial seas and their adjacent wetlands; Most impoundments […]