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Contentious "Waters of the U.S." Rule Headed to Supreme Court

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In late December, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will consider a narrow issue set regarding the controversial "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule that was finalized last year. In particular, the rule aims to clarify and expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) jurisdiction over U.S. waterways. Specifically, the court noted it will review if "jurisdictional determinations" made by the Corps under the Clean Water Act can be subject to judicial review. The court will be reviewing the case Hawkes Co., Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which involves companies in Minnesota seeking to mine on land they owned, but were denied due to the Corps’ determination that its land constitutes "Waters of the U.S." and thus subject to certain permits (click here to read more on the case).

This is the latest development regarding the WOTUS rule. Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement, back in early October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued a nationwide stay of the rule until pending legal challenges against the rule have been settled (click here to read more on the WOTUS rule).

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at

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