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9th Circuit Wrestles With 'Futurity' In Suit Over Corps' Wetlands Handbook

Appellate judges weighing the legality of the Army Corps of Engineers' regional supplements to its handbook for identifying wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA) appeared split at oral argument on whether a 1992 spending law bars the practice of using regional handbooks, with one judge backing that claim and another strongly questioning it.

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Pruitt aims to send CWA rule to White House this week

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told farmers that he plans to send a proposed jurisdiction rule for White House review on June 15.

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EPA Official Says CWA Jurisdiction Uncertainty Might Deter Enforcement

A senior EPA enforcement official says legal and regulatory uncertainty surrounding the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule might deter agency enforcement staff from pursuing criminal cases that involve complex jurisdiction determinations, because the agency favors straight-forward litigation and faces resource constraints.

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Judge Finds CWA Rule 'Likely' Illegal, Blocking Enforcement In 11 States

A federal district judge has barred enforcement of the Obama EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule in 11 states, holding that the standard as crafted is likely unlawful and providing a major boost to opponents of the Obama-era policy who have called for it to be overturned either administratively or in the courts.

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Supreme Court Sidesteps Refining Policy On Interpreting 4-4-1 Decisions

The Supreme Court has punted on using a criminal case to refine its policy on how to interpret 4-4-1 high court rulings including its confusing 2006 decision creating competing Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction tests, but sources say the majority opinion in the criminal case hints that the justices could take a fresh look at the CWA's scope.

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States' Call To Scrap EPA CWA Rule Poses Early Test For District Lawsuits

Republican states are asking a federal district judge to scrap EPA's 2015 Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule by claiming it violates the Constitution and a high court ruling on the law's reach, the first such request in a litany of district court challenges to the policy that poses an early test for revived legal efforts to kill the rule.

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Judge Presses DOJ On Whether Administration Supports 2015 CWA Rule

A federal district judge at a May 31 hearing had tough questions for the Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether it stands behind the 2015 Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule that the Trump administration plans to withdraw, raising doubts on regulators' attempts to stay neutral while the repeal effort is underway, says an attorney.

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Congress Appears Unlikely To Require DOD Comply With State PFAS Limits

Congress appears unlikely to require the Defense Department (DOD) to comply with state cleanup standards for perfluorinated chemicals in pending fiscal year 2019 defense authorization legislation in the absence of an EPA standard despite efforts by some lawmakers to include language mandating such compliance.

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Competing Legal Filings Underscore Confusion On EPA CWA Rule's Status

Competing legal filings in myriad suits over the Obama EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule are underscoring confusion over the rule's status, with some states asking a federal district judge to quickly block the rule and claiming EPA has implicitly “conceded” it is unlawful, while another judge is advancing two separate cases aiming to reinstate the 2015 policy.

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Superfund's Priority Status At EPA Could End If Pruitt Departs Agency

The Superfund program's status as an EPA priority and the benefits some communities have seen in aggressive cleanup decisions made by agency Administrator Scott Pruitt could end should the embattled administrator be forced to leave his job as a result of numerous investigations into alleged ethical improprieties, observers say.

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