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January 08, 2013

Rivers are rivers

and the water in them is water.  While these tautologies rest on the identity principle, words are not always what they seem when the EPA and the NRDC get hold of them. Two recent federal court decisions on the scope of the Clean Water Act provide useful examples of the principle that words in statutes have ...

October 11, 2012

Ominous development for California water users

This July, the Ninth Circuit, in NRDC v. Salazar, upheld 2-1 Judge Oliver Wanger’s dismissal of an environmentalist challenge to the Bureau of Reclamation’s renewal of water contracts.  The environmentalists had argued that the Bureau violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the e ...

January 21, 2012

And anyway . . . where is the environmental threat?

As pointed out in a previous post, one of the main arguments being put forward by the pro-EPA crowd in PLF’s case, Sackett v. EPA, is that Compliance Orders are necessary for the EPA to "promptly respond" to environmental harms, and that tying the EPA up in litigation would necessarily undermine EPA’s ability to save ...

January 11, 2012

Yes, we do want to make it harder for the EPA

Recent articles or quotes about Sackett v. EPA by environmentalists have foretold disaster if the Sacketts win their case against the EPA. To them, landowners should not be able to haul EPA into court when they issue Compliance Orders, no matter how onerous those Orders are, because it would hinder the EPA’s ability, as they see ...