On August 28, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released their hotly debated Clean Water Rule (the Rule) redefining what are federally protected jurisdictional "waters of the United States." The Rule clarifies, and attempts to resolve, years of different interpretation and confusing rulings by the Supreme Court on which waterways are under the jurisdiction of the federal government and therefore subject to regulations under the Clean Water Act. This article addresses which waters are explicitly covered under the Rule and how opponents of this definition are distorting the plain language of the Rule. After facing more than a dozen lawsuits across the country, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari in January 2017 to determine the fate of the Rule. The issues posed by the Rule arising under the CWA will likely be settled soon by the Supreme Court, and will hopefully be implemented, as the Rule seeks to provide greater predictability, clarity, and consistency on how Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations are made.
Elizabeth R. Mylin,
Don't Go near the Water: Following the Fate of the Clean Water Rule,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol55/iss1/9