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Natural Resources Defense Council v. Callaway

Citation: 5 ELR 20285
No. No. 74-1242, 392 F. Supp. 685/7 ERC 1784/(D.D.C., 03/27/1975)

By defining "navigable waters" in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 to mean "waters of the United States," Congress intended to assert federal jurisdiction over the nation's waters to the maximum extent possible under the commerce clause. The Army Corps of Engineers' definition of navigable waters which limits the Corps' dredge and fill permit jurisdiction under § 404 of the FWPCA to waters which meet the traditional test of navigability is therefore invalid. The court orders the Corps to publish regulations clearly recognizing the statute's full regulatory mandate.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Dennis M. Flannery
William T. Lake
Marianne Smythe
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering
1666 K Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Counsel for Defendants
John E. Varnum
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530