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Water

The National Marine Sanctuary System: The Once and Future Promise of Comprehensive Ocean Governance

Despite repeated recommendations for improved ocean governance, little has happened legislatively to update federal ocean protection. But administratively, NOAA has advanced a number of rulemakings to expand the size of existing...

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...

Will the New Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule Float?

On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection for streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Determining Clean Water Act...

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District: Will It Impact Mitigation Conditions in §404 Permits?

Required mitigation of wetlands impacts is a mandatory feature of many Clean Water Act §404 permits. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the U.S. Supreme Court held that government agencies must show a...

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...

Five Things to Consider When Developing and Adapting Water Policies and Programs in the West

Water policies and programs in the western United States have not always achieved the results originally envisioned. The surrounding circumstances, from public opinion and involvement to hydrology and administrative capacity,...

Dynamic MPAs ver.0.0: Protecting Cowcods From Potential Climate-Forced Hypoxia in Southern California

Dynamic marine protected areas (MPAs) are areas with a range of dormant management responses that turn on only when conditions warrant them. This new tool has the potential to allow resource managers to respond to impending but highly...

The Indian Supreme Court Promotes Interlinking of India's Rivers: Judicial Overreach?

The much-discussed and oft-criticized Indian interlinking of rivers project, initiated on its own motion by the Supreme Court of India (SC), will involve connecting 37 rivers in India through 30 links and 36 dams. The SC seems to have...

Cooperative Federalism, Nutrients, and the Clean Water Act: Three Cases Revisited

Cooperative federalism varies widely from program to program, and depends on the relationship each statute prescribes. The Clean Water Act (CWA), while providing ample room for state participation, is heavily federal and leaves little...