September 24, 2015

Unsettled Waters: Clean Water Rule Challenges Remain

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final rule defining the “waters of the United States” that has already churned up a host of legal challenges. In an article penned for Law360, Olivia Lucas and Christopher Dolan—Faegre Baker Daniels counsel and partner, respectively—assessed the “unprecedented interest” and “legal wrangling” generated by the new law and how it may impact Congress as it considers overturning the regulation.

“A score of lawsuits contesting the final rule were filed almost immediately in different jurisdictions across the country,” the article said. “Plaintiffs range from industry groups, to agricultural and other interest groups, to individual corporations, to more than half of the states in the union. The 14 cases filed directly in the various courts of appeals have been consolidated in the Sixth Circuit by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The EPA has also requested that nine cases pending in seven different district courts be consolidated into the district of D.C. At this stage, the threshold question is: Which court has jurisdiction to hear the substantive issues?”

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