Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Nebraska v. EPA

Citation: 33 ELR 20228
No. No. 01-1101, (D.C. Cir., 06/20/2003)

The court holds that the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), in requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate national primary drinking water regulations, is a valid exercise of power under the U.S. Commerce Clause. Petitioners argued that the SDWA exceeds the federal government’s power under the Commerce Clause to the extent it regulates noncommunicable water contaminants. Petitioners' challenge to the drinking water regulation for arsenic was dismissed because they failed to raise their objections with EPA. Although their challenge to the SDWA was properly before the court, a number of water utilities sell substantial volumes of drinking water across state lines, and each of these interstate sales presents a set of circumstances under which the Act is a valid exercise of power under the Commerce Clause. Likewise, the SDWA comports with the Tenth Amendment because it does not compel the states to pass legislation or to enforce the federal standards for arsenic.

Counsel for Petitioners
Jon C. Bruning, Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
2115 State Capitol
P.O. Box 98920, Lincoln NE 68509
(402) 471-2682

Counsel for Respondent
J. Steven Rogers
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000