Final “Waters of the United States” Rule Released

June 3, 2015   |   Environmental Law, Water Law

On May 27, the EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) released the final “waters of the United States” rule, which defines the scope of waters protected by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act itself provides that it covers “navigable waters,” which are defined in the statute as “waters of the United States, including territorial seas.” According to EPA and the Corps, the new rule, which replaces the current rule that was codified in 1986, aims to make the process of identifying waters protected by the Clean Water Act easier to understand and more predictable.… [Read More]

10th Circuit to Review Constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act

December 30, 2014   |   Environmental Law, Litigation

On November 25, an appeal was filed with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to review the decision of the US District Court of Utah that a rule promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the Utah prairie dog was unconstitutional.[Read More]

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Shell Oil’s Novel Litigation Strategy

December 8, 2014   |   Environmental Law, Litigation

On November 12, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Shell Gulf Oil of Mexico Inc., et al. v. Center for Biological Diversity, et al. holding that Shell cannot file suit to determine who would prevail in a hypothetical suit between environmental groups and a federal agency under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).… [Read More]

Gunnison Sage-Grouse Listed as “Threatened” Under Endangered Species Act

November 20, 2014   |   Environmental Law

On November 12, in a decision that will likely be challenged in the courts by both the State of Colorado and the conservation community, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) officially listed the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).[Read More]

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Regional Haze Program for Colorado Plateau

November 6, 2014   |   Environmental Law, Litigation

In Wildearth Guardians, et al. v. U.S. EPA, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s approval of regional cap-and-trade program regulating sulfur-dioxide emissions over the Colorado Plateau. Five environmental groups challenged EPA’s approval claiming that the Clean Air Act required best available retrofit technology (“BART”) in all eligible major sources that contribute to visibility impairment in various national parks and wilderness areas in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, including Grand Canyon National Park.… [Read More]