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Water

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...

Crafting Collaborative Governance: Water Resources, California’s Delta Plan, and Audited Self-Management in New Zealand

Since the 1980s, water governance has increasingly been linked to institutions and laws that engage local actors and closely relate to local ecosystems and catchments. These approaches, referred to as collaborative water governance,...

Key Issues in Setting Water Quality Standards

When setting water quality standards (WQS) for surface water, every state in the nation is faced with the question of “how clean is clean enough?” The standard set by the state is important to citizens, who rely upon a high level of...

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,...