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Category: Rulemaking and Legislative Practice

The Supreme Court, the EPA, and the Question of Federal Jurisdiction Of The Clean Water Act

On April 23, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund that a property owner is required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Permit under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) prior to a direct discharge, or the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge, of a pollutant to navigable waters. In an almost eerie sense of timing, two days earlier, on April 21, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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COVID-19 Silver Lining – Low Gasoline Prices – But at What Cost?

If you live in California, you may have noticed the steep decline in prices at the pump. You can thank the U.S. EPA for that.  Every spring, gas prices seem to skyrocket. The difference between summer- and winter-grade gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the […]

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