Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Supreme Court Creates “Functional Equivalent” Test in Clean Water Act Case

Mon Apr 27th, On Litigation, by

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court tried to balance the federal regulation of point-source pollution with states’ regulation of nonpoint-source pollution under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The Supreme Court’s majority opinion left as many questions as answers, however, as it created a new “functional equivalent” standard, but failed to define what constitutes the “functional equivalent” of a “direct discharge.” In short, a […]

DC Circuit Court to EPA: Grant-Holding Scientists Cannot Be Banned From Scientific Advisory Committees

The D.C. Circuit ruled this week that EPA must discontinue its practice of banning grant recipients from serving on its federal advisory committees. This precedent-setting ruling reverses a lower court’s decision which found the EPA did not violate a conflict-of-interest statute regarding executive branch employees and related regulations. The D.C. Circuit’s ruling comes in a lawsuit seeking to overturn former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s October 2017 directive regarding alleged conflicts […]

California State Water Board Will Now Require Monthly Use Reporting From Urban Retail Water Suppliers

The State Water Board adopted a regulation this week requiring the state’s largest urban retail water suppliers to report their monthly water use. A similar emergency policy was adopted on a mandatory basis during the last statewide drought; however, since November 2017, reporting has been implemented on a voluntary basis. The regulation affects California’s 400 largest water systems serving approximately 90% of the state’s population. The goal of collecting this […]

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in ARCO v. Christian That State Law Monetary Claims Can Proceed, But Parallel Restoration Claims Under State Statute at a Superfund Site Require EPA Approval

Tue Apr 21st, On Environmental Law, by

The Supreme Court ruled today on an important environmental case involving common law and state statutory claims (Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian et al., case number 17-1498).The question before the court was whether Atlantic Richfield Company (“ARCO”) is liable for remediation by landowners at a Superfund site beyond that required by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). The answer is “yes—so […]

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