Environmental Law & Policy Alerts – Update from Somach Simmons & Dunn

June 11, 2024

Colorado Fills Sackett’s Wetlands Gap

The phrase “Waters of the United States” (or “WOTUS”) is a contender for the five words that have been subject to the most judicial and executive whiplash since 1972. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), aquatic environments that fall within the scope of WOTUS are protected from, among other things, certain unpermitted discharges of dredge and fill material. Specifically, the CWA authorizes states to apply to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “for permission . . . to issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into [certain] bodies of water,” including certain wetlands. Numerous and dueling U.S. Supreme Court decisions and federal rulemakings have been issued regarding the standard for determining whether a specific wetland or stream is navigable, and thus, within the scope of WOTUS.  … Read More

Written by Ryan J. Mitchell