Posts from February 2019.

On February 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order granting review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, setting the stage for a landmark decision on Clean Water Act jurisdiction. The particular issue under consideration is whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater. In January, the U.S. Solicitor General filed a brief – at the Court’s request – urging the Justices to decide the question ...

EPA enforcement actions as reflected by the amount of assessed civil penalties have dropped substantially during the first two years of the Trump Administration.  (Washington Post, January 24).  According to an analysis reported there, EPA's civil fines averaged more than $500 million a year when adjusted for inflation during the twenty years prior to the beginning of the Trump Administration.  The total for 2018 was approximately 85% below that amount.  This continues but expands a trend initiated in 2017 when penalty amounts apparently dropped by half (Reuters, 2/15/2018

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