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Showing 2 posts in Rapanos.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court held that federal courts can review the Army Corps of Engineers’ determinations that a landowner’s property contains “waters of the United States” and is therefore subject to the Clean Water Act’s regulations and permitting process.  Remarkably, the decision was unanimous in affirming the Eighth Circuit’s decision that such determinations are considered final agency actions under the Administrative Procedures Act and are therefore reviewable by the courts.  The majority opinion in the case, United States Army Corps of Eng'rs v. Hawkes Co., No. 15-290 (U.S. May 31, 2016), was authored by Chief Justice Roberts while Justices Kennedy, Kagan, and Ginsberg each authored separate concurring opinions.   Read More »

Since the Supreme Court issued its splintered 4-1-4 decision in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006), district and circuit courts have grappled with how to define “wetlands” for purposes of application of the Clean Water Act.  Whether adding to the confusion or bringing clarity to the subject, the Third Circuit for the first time has weighed in on the issue in United States v. Donovan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 10-4295 (3rd Cir., October 31, 2011) (J. Rendell).  Donovan a land owner, defended an enforcement action on the basis that  the Clean Water Act did not apply to his actions in filling part of his property and that the Army Corps lacked jurisdiction because the wetlands at issue were not adjacent to navigable-in-fact waters.  The Third Circuit disagreed.  While Donovan may be disappointed by this decision (after litigating the issues for 15 years), the case has much more far-reaching ramifications. Read More »