EPA's powers challenged in Supreme Court

February 21, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in what reportedly might become a landmark case involving federal environmental powers.

At issue is the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act -- is it limited to lakes and rivers or does it also include remote wetlands, The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

In dispute is the relationship between the CWA, as Congress created it, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rules that are designed to enforce the law.

The CWA act specifically extends federal authority to all "navigable waters." The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers interpret that as meaning their authority under the CWA extends far upstream and even to waters with no hydrologic connection to a tributary of navigable waters, the Monitor said.

Opponents argue that interpretation would extend EPA powers to even a saturated residential lawn located near a storm drain. They say upstream properties should be governed by state regulations.

Proponents claim federal authority should extend far enough upstream to control water pollution.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Colorado River Delta flows help birds, plants, groundwater

Related Stories

Colorado River Delta flows help birds, plants, groundwater

October 20, 2016

Two growing seasons after the engineered spring flood of the Colorado River Delta in 2014, the delta's birds, plants and groundwater continue to benefit, according to the latest monitoring report prepared for the International ...

Environmental DNA uncovers biodiversity in rivers

August 30, 2016

Most natural ecosystems are heavily affected by changes to the human habitat, climate change or invasive species. In order to protect these ecosystems, one needs to know which organisms live in them. Therefore, assessing ...

Unusual Delta algae bloom worries researchers

September 7, 2015

On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the same ...

Scrutinising rivers upstream

October 17, 2013

Climate change influences water cycles. Particularly, it has an effect on the natural and socio-economic processes of river basins. Major rivers of the world have their origin in alpine-style mountains. The trouble is that ...

Recommended for you

Study shows how giraffe assassin bugs outwit spider prey

October 26, 2016

(Phys.org)—A biologist at Macquarie University in Australia has discovered the secret behind the giraffe assassin's ability to catch and kill spiders in their webs. In his paper published on the open access site Royal Society ...

Ancient parrot fossil found in Siberia

October 26, 2016

(Phys.org)—A Russian paleontologist has discovered a parrot fossil uncovered in Siberia several years ago—the first evidence of parrots living in Asia. In his paper published in Biology Letters, Nikita Zelenkov describes ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.