Our very own Senior Scientist, Daniel DeJoode, presented at the North Dakota Water and Pollution Control Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota. Daniel talked about the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, relevant Supreme Court cases and the implications of the pending changes.
What is (a) Water? The Evolving Definition of a Water of the United States
Many of the most significant federal statutes regarding environmental protection and policy became law in the 1970s, including the Clean Water Act (CWA). Laws are not static, and changing perspectives, scientific understanding, priorities and political views all affect how these laws are implemented. While no changes to the actual text of the CWA have been made recently, the federal regulations which implement the law are subject to change. Furthermore, the outcomes of litigation can also affect how these laws are interpreted and enforced.
Proposed changes under the CWA include a proposal from the US Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that would alter the definition of protected water bodies and wetlands and will have implications for industry and development nationwide. Another potential change to the CWA may come from a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) case that will be argued before the US Supreme Court in the 2019/2020 term. This case may extend jurisdiction of the CWA to groundwater.
For more information about this topic, please reach out to Daniel DeJoode via email at [email protected] or by phone at 612.817.7587.