On Aug. 3, 2020, a split Fifth Circuit plunged federal aquaculture regulation into murky waters. The United States is a minor aquaculture producer, ranked 17th in 2017 on a global
Continue Reading The National Marine Fisheries Service is Angling to Regulate Aquaculture; the Fifth Circuit Won’t Bite

A curious appellate court decision has Pennsylvania environmental law practitioners scratching their heads about the status of certain waterways.

No, we do not reference the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest Clean
Continue Reading Navigability: It’s Not Just for the Federal Clean Water Act Anymore

On June 18, 2020, the Seventh Circuit handed down a decision in a case involving historical environmental contamination that eases the path to federal court for defendants who are haled into state court for acts that occurred while defendants were assisting the federal government. In Sherrie Baker et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, et al., No. 19-3160, 2020 WL 3287024, — F.3d — (7th Cir. 2020), the court adopted a new standard for federal officer removal, holding that defendants act under color of federal office and are entitled to a federal forum when sued for conduct relating to acts for the federal government, even if the conduct at issue in a particular case only partially implicates the federally directed acts. This decision has consequences that reach beyond defendants facing environmental liability, as did the defendants in Baker, as it could provide an additional avenue to a federal forum for companies that have either been awarded federal contracts, or that supply customers who hold federal contracts.
Continue Reading 7th Circuit Lowers Removal Hurdle for Defendants That Assisted the Feds

Rejecting the Trump administration’s novel 2019 interpretation that the Clean Water Act never requires permits for pollutant discharges to groundwater, the United States Supreme Court handed down, on April 23,
Continue Reading Supreme Court: Pollutants Reaching Navigable Waters Through Groundwater May Require Permit Under Clean Water Act

In an April 15 ruling in Northern Plains Resource Council, et al. v. Army Corps of Engineers, Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Continue Reading Federal Judge Prohibits Use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit 12 for Utility and Pipeline Projects