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Environmental Law

Clean Water Act

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jan 2018

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2017, district courts decided several issues that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had never addressed. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia concluded that the Clean Water Act's (CWA) prohibition on the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States without a permit extended to discharges into groundwater with a "direct hydrological connection" to surface waters within the Act's scope. The court also concluded that a state-permitted land application system, whereby wastewater is sprayed onto fields as means of treatment and disposal, constituted a "point source" within ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jan 2017

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed, for the second time, whether the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) acted arbitrarily when it issued Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP 21), which authorizes dredge and fill activities by surface mining operations and applies differing standards to grandfathered operations and new operations. The court held that the Corps did not, and it upheld the permit. Also, the Eleventh Circuit held that the National Park Service did not act improperly under the Wilderness Act when it reduced the number of acres it considered to be eligible for designation as ...


Drinking Water Protection And Agricultural Exceptionalism, Margot J. Pollans Jan 2016

Drinking Water Protection And Agricultural Exceptionalism, Margot J. Pollans

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Providing safe drinking water is a basic responsibility of government. In the United States, local water utilities shoulder much of this burden, but federal drinking water law sets these utilities up to fail. The primary problem arises in the context of nonpoint source pollution, where federal drinking water law favors end-of-line clean up by water utilities over pollution prevention by farmers and other nonpoint source polluters. This system is both inefficient and unfair.

Although the Safe Drinking Water Act requires local utilities to provide safe water, it gives them few tools to engage in water pollution prevention and instead emphasizes ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jan 2016

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided novel issues in two cases under the Clean Water Act (CWA). In Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the court held remand of a Corps of Engineers permitting decision for reconsideration without also vacating the permit is a remedy within the court's discretion and was appropriate under the circumstances. In Riverkeeper v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the court held appellate review of a non-final response by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to a petition to withdraw Alabama's authority to ...


Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Lessons In Statutory Interpretation From Analyzing The Elements Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2016

Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Lessons In Statutory Interpretation From Analyzing The Elements Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article, the fifth in a series of five, completes the author’s detailed analysis of how federal courts have interpreted each element of the Clean Water Act (CWA) offense. Compiling statistics across the four prior articles, it draws conclusions about statutory interpretation in general, finding that the depth of legal analysis increases with the level of court; that environmentally positive results decrease with the level of court; that courts use only a small number of canons and other interpretive devices; that their uses of interpretive devices change over time; and that interpretive devices are not all outcome-neutral. The author ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jul 2015

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, addressing an issue of first impression, rejected the district court's use of a Lone Pine case-management order as a means of testing the sufficiency of the plaintiffs' pleadings in a state law environmental torts case. The court also interpreted Florida law to mean that plaintiffs are not required to allege that groundwater contamination exceeded regulatory maximum contaminant levels for drinking water to maintain their claims and that they could recover "stigma" damages to their property without alleging actual contamination. The United States District Court for the Middle ...


A Primer: Air And Water Environmental Quality Standards In The United State, Jason J. Czarnezki, Siu Tip Lam, Nadia B. Ahmad Jan 2015

A Primer: Air And Water Environmental Quality Standards In The United State, Jason J. Czarnezki, Siu Tip Lam, Nadia B. Ahmad

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Scale Economies, Scale Externalities: Hog Farming And The Changing American Agricultural Industry, Shi-Ling Hsu Jan 2015

Scale Economies, Scale Externalities: Hog Farming And The Changing American Agricultural Industry, Shi-Ling Hsu

Scholarly Publications

American agriculture is inexorably concentrating into the hands of a small number of large conglomerates. Expanding farms pursuing scale economies would normally have to abide by a system of environmental and other laws that would, in theory, require farms to account for negative externalities. If those laws were observed and enforced, they would help strike a balance between the greater profitability and the larger externalities of scaling up. But these laws are not widely observed nor rigorously enforced, which upsets this balance and gives large-scale farms a cost advantage while insulating them from corresponding responsibilities.

Perhaps nowhere in agriculture is ...


Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Navigable Waters” Element Of The Federal Water Pollution Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2015

Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Navigable Waters” Element Of The Federal Water Pollution Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article, the third in a series of five, examines the meaning of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. It traces the traditional judicial interpretation of navigable waters and how Congress and EPA attempted to extend its meaning, then examines how the term has been applied in the context of tributaries and wetlands, isolated waters, groundwater, and EPA’s unitary theory of navigable waters. The author then analyzes EPA and the Corps’ 2014 proposed amendments to the definition of “waters of the United States,” and concludes that those amendments may resolve much of the interpretive crisis.


Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Point Source” Element Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2015

Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Point Source” Element Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article, the fourth in a series of five, examines the continuing struggles to define “point source” and “nonpoint source” under the Clean Water Act. State regulation of nonpoint sources is neither pervasive nor robust, and most continuing water pollution problems can be traced primarily to nonpoint sources. EPA should define nonpoint sources by regulation and begin to expand the definition of point source by incorporating established case law and Agency practice to bring more nonpoint sources into the point source definition.


Preservation Is A Flawed Mitigation Strategy, Jessica Owley Jan 2015

Preservation Is A Flawed Mitigation Strategy, Jessica Owley

Journal Articles

The objective of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. To help achieve that objective, the Clean Water Act limits the ability to dredge or fill a wetland. To do so, one must first obtain a section 404 permit. These permits, which are issued by the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) with coordination and oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), require project proponents to avoid, minimize, and compensate the harms of any wetland destruction or modification. Compensatory mitigation is a troubling concept in wetlands regulation because ...


A Primer: Air And Water Environmental Quality Standards In The United States, Jason J. Czarnezki Jan 2015

A Primer: Air And Water Environmental Quality Standards In The United States, Jason J. Czarnezki

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This article, designed as a resource for environmental law professors both domestically and abroad, addresses how environmental quality standards are created, implemented, and enforced in the United States. The answers to these questions are useful to those teaching U.S. environmental law and international scholars, especially in the European Union, who are faced with the challenge of creating new environmental quality standards under both national and EU directives. It must be noted that this project is complicated by the federal system within the country, and, thus, attention must be devoted to the federal-state relationship. In fact, the major relevant statutes ...


Slides: Session 2, Water Supply And Quality: The Regulatory Framework, Richard E. Schwartz Jun 2014

Slides: Session 2, Water Supply And Quality: The Regulatory Framework, Richard E. Schwartz

Water and Air Quality Issues in Oil and Gas Development: The Evolving Framework of Regulation and Management (Martz Summer Conference, June 5-6)

Presenter: Richard E. Schwartz, Crowell & Moring LLP

38 slides


Maintaining A Healthy Water Supply While Growing A Healthy Food Supply: Legal Tools For Cleaning Up Agricultural Water Pollution, Mary Jane Angelo, Jon Morris May 2014

Maintaining A Healthy Water Supply While Growing A Healthy Food Supply: Legal Tools For Cleaning Up Agricultural Water Pollution, Mary Jane Angelo, Jon Morris

UF Law Faculty Publications

This article will explore a number of legal mechanisms that could play a role in ensuring that discharges from agricultural activities do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards. Specifically, this article will evaluate the relative effectiveness of: (1) narrative nutrient criteria as compared with numeric nutrient criteria; (2) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation through regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms; and (3) the relative efficacy of design-based standards such as Best Management Practices (BMPs) and performance-based standards in reducing water pollution from agriculture. The article will draw on experiences from the State of Florida, including Everglades' restoration ...


Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Addition” Element Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2014

Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Addition” Element Of The Clean Water Act Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source by any person without a permit. Surprisingly, the first element of this prohibition, “addition,” remains undefined. It has been interpreted broadly by regulators and judges to expand the prohibition to such an extent that it threatens to capture innocent people. EPA in particular has confused “addition” with “navigable waters” to such an extent that it threatens to eviscerate half of the CWA’s regulatory strategies and programs: water quality standards and the § 404 program protecting wetlands. This Article examines the interpretation of “addition ...


Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Pollutant” Element Of The Federal Water Pollution Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller Jan 2014

Plain Meaning, Precedent, And Metaphysics: Interpreting The “Pollutant” Element Of The Federal Water Pollution Offense, Jeffrey G. Miller

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This Article, the second in a series of five, examines the meaning of “pollutant” under the Clean Water Act. Congress and EPA have defined “pollutant” to mean a list of specific substances and broad categories of materials and wastes discharged into water, e.g., “biological materials” and “chemical wastes.” The definition is broad enough to encompass virtually all substances associated with human activity that are discharged to water, regardless of whether the substances cause pollution or are produced through human endeavor. Therefore, “pollutant” is rarely a limiting element. Instead, the issues with the definition of “pollutant” primarily address whether it ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jul 2013

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, deciding an issue of first impression, held that a party that enters a consent order to settle potential liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is not entitled to pursue a cost recovery action against other potentially responsible parties under section 1073 of the Act, but may only seek contribution from those parties under section 113(f) of the Act. The court also affirmed a decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Manage- ment to approve an exploration plan for oil and gas drilling ...


Did We Miss The Boat? The Clean Water Act And Sustainability, Ryan P. Murphy May 2013

Did We Miss The Boat? The Clean Water Act And Sustainability, Ryan P. Murphy

Law Student Publications

This comment argues for more political accountability and more scientific consideration when addressing water quality. It begins, in Section I, with an overview of the Clean Water Act, its distinction between point and nonpoint sources, and the connection between nonpoint source pollution, water use, and land use. Section II considers the tension between beneficial uses and environmental degradation by taking a look at a dramatic example of hydrologic modification. 5 Section III considers an effluent dominated waterbody-the Los Angeles River-and the difficulties that regulating point sources to the river presents. Finally, Section IV suggests a different approach-one that is modeled ...


Compartmentalized Thinking And The Clean Water Act, Christine A. Klein Jan 2013

Compartmentalized Thinking And The Clean Water Act, Christine A. Klein

UF Law Faculty Publications

Modern water pollution control traces back to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (Clean Water Act or CWA). Like other statutes of its period, the CWA addresses pollution of a single medium, water. Despite its goal of achieving aquatic integrity, the CWA succumbs to what this article refers to as “compartmentalized thinking.” That is, in drafting the CWA, Congress created a series of regulatory boxes that separate water into constituent parts recognized by law, but not by nature. Undertaking a deeper examination of the fragmentation instinct, this article turns to political theory and cognitive psychology for explanations. In ...


Manure In The Bay: A Report On Industrial Animal Agriculture In Maryland And Pennsylvania, Rena I. Steinzor, Yee Huang Jun 2012

Manure In The Bay: A Report On Industrial Animal Agriculture In Maryland And Pennsylvania, Rena I. Steinzor, Yee Huang

Faculty Scholarship

This report provides a substantive and detailed look at the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) and other animal feeding operations (AFO) programs in Maryland and Pennsylvania, as well as a general overview of the federal CAFO program. The information in this report was gathered through publicly available resources as well as a series of interviews with agency officials and other individuals who work with the animal agricultural sector. This report identifies concrete and practical recommendations for improving how the waste generated by animal industrial agriculture is managed and controlled by EPA, the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), and the Pennsylvania ...


Water Quality Trading In The Chesapeake Bay, Rena I. Steinzor, Nicholas W. Vidargas, Shana Campbell Jones, Yee Huang May 2012

Water Quality Trading In The Chesapeake Bay, Rena I. Steinzor, Nicholas W. Vidargas, Shana Campbell Jones, Yee Huang

Faculty Scholarship

In May 2009, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, declaring the Bay a national treasure and signaling that EPA will play a strong role in leading Bay cleanup. The order marked a dramatic departure, offering the promise of federal leadership on Bay cleanup. The following year, EPA issued a Chesapeake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a pollution budget for Bay states. Faced with a federal commitment, the states have begun work on complying with the TMDL. One Bay-wide approach under consideration is a market-based initiative, water quality trading, that would allow polluters to trade ...


The Judicial Assault On The Clean Water Act, Mark Squillace Jan 2012

The Judicial Assault On The Clean Water Act, Mark Squillace

Articles

No abstract provided.


Back To Basics: An Agenda For The Maryland General Assembly To Protect The Environment, Rena I. Steinzor, Lee Huang Oct 2011

Back To Basics: An Agenda For The Maryland General Assembly To Protect The Environment, Rena I. Steinzor, Lee Huang

Faculty Scholarship

Maryland has a long-held reputation as a regional and national leader in environmental protection. But in some areas, especially enforcement, that reputation warrants scrutiny. For example, Maryland charges less than Pennsylvania and Virginia for some pollutant discharge permits, and the state does not assess permit fees for municipalities despite the resources required to administer those permits. The penalties for violating the Clean Water Act have remained chronically below the level allowed under federal law. Maryland law does not require MDE to penalize polluters for the full amount of the economic gain they achieved by flouting the law, unlike laws in ...


Stranger Than Fiction: An "Inside" Look At Environmental Liability And Defense Strategy In The Deepwater Horizon Aftermath, William H. Rodgers, Jr., Jason Derosa, Sarah Reyneveld Jan 2011

Stranger Than Fiction: An "Inside" Look At Environmental Liability And Defense Strategy In The Deepwater Horizon Aftermath, William H. Rodgers, Jr., Jason Derosa, Sarah Reyneveld

Articles

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20, 2010 initiated an environmental disaster that presented attorneys on both sides of the legal action with monumental challenges. Using the satirical format of a memo written by the corporate defense counsel to BP America four days after the spill began, this article investigates BP’s potential liability and strategic defense positions available in criminal and civil proceedings. Major federal environmental laws, including the Oil Pollution Act, the Clean Water Act and major wildlife protection statutes, are implicated by the Spill. The memo provides a clear picture of the existing opportunities for a ...


After The Spill Is Gone: The Gulf Of Mexico, Environmental Crime, And Criminal Law, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2011

After The Spill Is Gone: The Gulf Of Mexico, Environmental Crime, And Criminal Law, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

The Gulf oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, and will be the most significant criminal case ever prosecuted under U.S. environmental laws. The Justice Department is likely to prosecute BP, Transocean, and Halliburton for criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which will result in the largest fines ever imposed in the United States for any form of corporate crime. The Justice Department also may decide to pursue charges for manslaughter, false statements, and obstruction of justice. The prosecution will shape public perceptions about environmental crime, for reasons ...


Slides: Development Of Shale: Water Resource Concerns And Policy Considerations, Katy Dunlap Nov 2010

Slides: Development Of Shale: Water Resource Concerns And Policy Considerations, Katy Dunlap

Shale Plays in the Intermountain West: Legal and Policy Issues (November 12)

Presenter: Katy Dunlap, Eastern Water Project Director, Trout Unlimited, Inc., Burdett, NY

24 slides


Slides: Evolving Policy On Shale Plays, John Martin Nov 2010

Slides: Evolving Policy On Shale Plays, John Martin

Shale Plays in the Intermountain West: Legal and Policy Issues (November 12)

Presenter: John Martin, Crowell & Moring, LLP, Washington, DC

17 slides


Crimes On The Gulf, David M. Uhlmann Jan 2010

Crimes On The Gulf, David M. Uhlmann

Articles

The explosion that rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers and triggered the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. After six weeks of failed efforts to stop the gushing oil and protect the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and the communities along its shores, President Obama pledged on June 1 that “if our laws were broken . . . we will bring those responsible to justice.”


Slides: Innovative Best Practices For The Western Slope: Stormwater Management Solutions And Philosophy For The Oil And Gas Industry, Kyle N. Schildt Oct 2009

Slides: Innovative Best Practices For The Western Slope: Stormwater Management Solutions And Philosophy For The Oil And Gas Industry, Kyle N. Schildt

Best Practices for Community and Environmental Protection (October 14)

Presenter: Kyle N. Schildt, P.E., LT Environmental, Inc.

12 slides


Agenda: Western Water Law, Policy And Management: Ripples, Currents, And New Channels For Inquiry, University Of Colorado Boulder. Natural Resources Law Center, Western Water Policy Program Jun 2009

Agenda: Western Water Law, Policy And Management: Ripples, Currents, And New Channels For Inquiry, University Of Colorado Boulder. Natural Resources Law Center, Western Water Policy Program

Western Water Law, Policy and Management: Ripples, Currents, and New Channels for Inquiry (Martz Summer Conference, June 3-5)

In many pockets of the American West, stresses and demands on water resources are overwhelming our capacity to effectively manage change and accommodate the diversity of interests and values associated with our limited water resources.

This event will offer an opportunity for lawyers, policymakers, and water professionals to engage the experts on the challenges and emerging solutions to the most pressing water policy and management issues of the day.