Clean Water Restoration Act, S. 787 and SPCC Rule Finalized, Again

Clean Water Restoration Act, S.787

This bill (S. 787) seeks to substantially expand the jurisdictional reach of the Clean Water Act, and that of the regulatory agencies administering the Act, by amending two key definitions. S. 787 will remove the definition of ‘navigable waters’ that has been included in the Act since its enactment and will replace it with a new, broadly defined statutory term, ‘waters of the United States.’ That term has been defined in EPA and Corps regulations for many years. However, the bill will provide a statutory definition of the ‘waters of the United States’ that expands the prior regulatory definition to include, among other things, “all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries” and “wetlands” “to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.” Note that the definition not only includes the actual waters, but ‘activities affecting these waters.’ Continue reading “Clean Water Restoration Act, S. 787 and SPCC Rule Finalized, Again”

Environmental Justice Efforts Renewed

Environmental justice was touted by then-candidate Obama as central to his environmental platform. See Environmental Update, Dec. 12, 2008 (attached). Now, President Obama has required the EPA, acting through Administrator Lisa Jackson, to make environmental justice a ‘focus’ of the agency’s activities. Ms. Jackson stated that the agency should focus on “the poor and underserved” so that environmental issues “connect with people’s brain space on the things they deal with every day.” BNA, Vol. 40, No. 30, p. 1785, July 24, 2009. Continue reading “Environmental Justice Efforts Renewed”