Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Definitions, §502

“Waters of the United States” and the Agricultural Production Sector: Sweeping Change or More of the Same?

EPA and the Corps’ promulgation of a new definition of “waters of the United States” under the CWA has prompted a fierce rhetorical and legal debate. EPA maintains that the agencies’ jurisdiction may actually be limited by the new...

Plain Meaning, Precedent, and Metaphysics: Interpreting the “Point Source” Element of the Clean Water Act Offense

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...

Plain Meaning, Precedent, and Metaphysics: Interpreting the “Navigable Waters” Element of the Clean Water Act Offense

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...

Plain Meaning, Precedent, and Metaphysics: Interpreting the “Pollutant” Element of the Federal Water Pollution Offense

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...

Plain Meaning, Precedent, and Metaphysics: Interpreting the “Addition” Element of the Clean Water Act Offense

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...

Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act: Cutting Through the Rhetoric on the Proposed Rule

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to revise their rules defining which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act. As with so much of our public...

The Continued Highway Requirement as a Factor in Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Editors' Summary: U.S. courts have consistently ruled that navigable, intrastate waters are not traditional navigable waters unless they form part of a continued highway of interstate commerce. However, for purposes of its permitting...

From the Fields of Runnymede to the Waters of the United States: A Historical Review of the Clean Water Act and the Term "Navigable Waters"

Editors' Summary: This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding two very important wetlands cases. In both, the Court is asked to decide whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...