Documents

Universal Welding, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Documents 1-12-17

Reply Brief

Download

Case Attorneys

James S. Burling

Vice President for Litigation

Before becoming an attorney, James had been a productive member of society working as an exploration geologist in the late 1970s throughout the southwestern United States. However, after several years … ›

View profile

Damien M. Schiff

Senior Attorney

Currently a Senior Attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, Damien joined PLF in 2005.  His practice has focused on federal and state environmental and land-use issues.  Damien was counsel of record … ›

View profile

Jonathan Wood

Attorney

Jonathan Wood is an attorney at PLF’s DC Center, where he litigates environmental, property rights, and constitutional cases. He is passionate about finding constitutional, effective, and fair solutions to environmental … ›

View profile

Case Commentary

See all posts
Post

By Damien M. Schiff

Adverse decision in Alaska wetlands case

This morning, the Ninth Circuit upheld the Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Act jurisdiction over the Fairbanks, Alaska, property of our client, Universal Welding. The case, Universal Welding & Fabrication Co. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, addressed a rarely invoked exception to the agency’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction over wetlands. The Corps’ regulations provide that the agency can regulate all wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters, except wetlands that are adjacent to other jurisdictional wetlands. In our case, Universal Welding’s property is bordered by a county road, on the other side of which is a large wetland that extends for about a mile-and-a-half to Drainage Channel C, a tributary of the Chena Slough and Chena River.

Read more
Post

By Damien M. Schiff

Briefing complete in wetlands jurisdictional challenge

Today, we filed our reply brief on appeal in Universal Welding, Inc v United States Army Corps of Engineers The case concerns the scope of a rarely addressed (and even more rarely applied) regulatory exception to the Corps’ wetland jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act According to the Corps’ long-standing rule, the agency generally will assert jurisdiction over all wetlands that are “adjacent” (ie, bordering, contiguous, or neighboring) to other jurisdictional waters With one exception The Corps’ regulation provides that the agency will not assert jurisdiction over wetlands that are adjacent to other wetlands We contend that this exception applies to the wetlands on Universal Welding’s North Pole, Alaska,

Read more
Post

By Damien M. Schiff

Opening salvo in Clean Water Act appeal

Earlier this week, we filed our opening brief on appeal in Universal Welding & Fabrication, Inc v United States Army Corps of Engineers  Our client, Universal Welding, is a family-owned steel and pipe fabrication business, based in North Pole, Alaska  The company wants to expand its operations to a neighboring parcel  This parcel has about 14 acres of isolated, low-functioning wetlands  Nevertheless, the Corps demanded that our client obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act to develop the property  The Corps imposed a number of onerous conditions in that permit, among them that our client pay a $70,000 mitigation fee to The Conservation Fund

We filed an action

Read more