PLF comments on EPA's connectivity report
Last week, Pacific Legal Foundation filed comments on EPA’s recently released draft connectivity report. EPA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers plan to use the report to promulgate new regulations interpreting the scope of the Clean Water Act. EPA has sent the draft report to the Science Advisory Board, which will host a multi-day hearing on the report in December.
PLF’s comments raise several concerns with the draft report, which appears designed to justify a significant expansion of the Clean Water Act’s scope. The report repeatedly emphasizes the connections of even small streams and seemingly isolated wetlands to larger bodies of water. Strangely, the report treats as something new the truism that, although an ephemeral stream or apparently isolated wetland may have little impact on downstream waters, the class of ephemeral streams or isolated wetlands within a watershed may have a significant impact.
Hence, the report’s tone and approach confirm that the report’s authors are entirely oblivious to the Supreme Court’s decisions of the last decade, which have emphasized that the Clean Water Act cannot be used to regulate every wet spot or humble rivulet in the country. Although the Board’s charge is limited to technical matters, nevertheless the Board should take this opportunity to demand greater consistency between the report and Clean Water Act case law.
What to read next
Shed a (crocodile) tear for Luke Skywalker today, as Mark Hamill’s much ballyhooed Autograph Law is set to be undone and reformed by the same California officials who made the mistake to pass it in the first place. AB 228 has arrived at the Governor’s desk, and in all likelihood will be signed into law any day.
Our new flagship publication, Sword&Scales, offers 16 pages of news and information to bring you up close to the vital work of our legal team. Our ardent defense of the right to own and use private property takes center stage in the inaugural issue. It’s at the core of our mission in the nation’s courts.
On Thursday, in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, PLF filed this reply brief in support of its cert petition to the Supreme Court of the United States. In this case, we’re representing Minnesota voters in a First Amendment challenge to a ban on political apparel at polling places.
The Daily Journal published my column on California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland, recently decided by the California Supreme Court. As the op-ed points out, the ruling undermines Proposition 218’s requirements that all new taxes at the local level need voter approval.
Minnesota bans political apparel at polling places across the State. The government interprets “political” broadly: the ban applies to shirts with classic American phrases such as “Liberty” or “Don’t tread on me,” as long as those phrases appear alongside a tea party logo — no matter how small.
Sunday marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Pacific Legal Foundation celebrates Constitution Day this year with a column about a Founding Father and signer of the Constitution who now stars in the Broadway hit musical, Hamilton. We also use the opportunity to remind our federal legislators about the importance of the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution. The opinion piece will run in newspapers from coast to coast this weekend.